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Car park in front of Saint-Gilles town hall to become public square

16:34 03/09/2021

Place Van Meenen, across from Saint-Gilles’ 120-year-old town hall, is set to become car-free. Works could begin as early as next year to transform the car park into a public square.

Place Van Meenen will become “an oasis of green and relaxation,” said the cabinet of regional mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) in a statement. Over the decades, Urban development projects in Brussels “have always put the interests of cars first,” according to the statement, “with an unequal distribution of public space as a result.”

The region is working, the statement continues, “to create a city on a human level, with quality public space, especially in neighbourhood where residents don’t have gardens.” Now that the urban planning study and public inquiry process are complete, plans for the new square can be drawn up.

“For so many years Place Van Meenen has been a carpark, at the foot of a beautiful, historical town hall with a fantastic view of the city,” said Catherine Morenville (Ecolo), Saint-Gilles city councillor in charge of public works and green space. “Our redevelopment project will focus on the needs of people with limited mobility and on creating a sense of safety for everyone who uses the square.”

The municipality and the region are working together on the project and are now at the phase of choosing an architect to design the space, in consultation with area residents. Designs are expected to be submitted for approval in the first half of next year.  

Photo courtesy Google Maps

 

Written by Lisa Bradshaw