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Environment agency to restore parts of Senne river in Brussels

16:51 03/05/2018

The Senne river, which used to flow freely through Brussels, will enjoy a bit of a Renaissance soon, as the capital’s environment agency has plans to restore it in three places. Bruxelles Environnement is working to remove some of the infrastructure that has reduced the parts of the river that are still exposed to tiny streams.

The Senne runs for 103 kilometres, from Soignies in the Hainaut province to Mechelen in Antwerp province. The part of the river that runs through Brussels was almost completely covered over by boulevards and other infrastructure in the 19th and 20th centuries.

A few places still remain, however, where it peeks through, though it’s far from beautiful. This is what Bruxelles Environnement wants to address.

As part of a larger project to clean and restore the length of the river, it will open it up in three parts of Brussels, removing infrastructure that has worked against its natural size and flow. “We want to respond to the wish of Brussels residents to restore the river on which Brussels was born,” said the organisation.

Former glory

A spokesperson for the agency told Bruzz that the length of the river along Boulevard Paepsem in Anderlecht is its most beautiful, so here the organisation is replacing concrete walls with natural banks.

Natural banks and more foliage will also be restored to the river in Haren, where it runs near the Aquiris water treatment plant. Finally, a bit of the Senne is visible in Maximilien park, and the agency wants to restore it to its former glory there, too. That is part of a larger project for the urban renewal of the area, so its dream to realise this part of the project by 2022 still has to be confirmed.

Photo: Plans for the Senne river include restoring its natural banks and creating green space for residents

Written by Lisa Bradshaw