The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Grass grows on Brussels' Grand-Place as people disappear

10:59 15/05/2020

It was Bruno De Lille, formerly state secretary of mobility in Brussels, who brought everyone’s attention to it with a couple of photos on Twitter: Grass is growing like crazy between the cobblestones on the Grand-Place.

People walking all over the Grand-Place normally act as a kind of biological lawn mower, keeping grass and other vegetation at bay, both between the cobblestones and at the edges of the square, against the buildings. Now that there are no tourists – and few locals – taking to the famous square, plants are sprouting up all over.

“The seeds are getting the chance to germinate, which they normally can’t because of how many people are in the square and also the street cleaners, which come through here twice a day,” Olivier Beck of environmental agency Bruxelles Environnement told VRT. “Nature is an extremely flexible system. When people take a step back, then nature takes a step forward.”

While it is expected that the situation will return to normal once people take to the square again, Beck hopes that a little of the green will have taken hold. “Before Brussels existed, this was marshland. It’s because of urban development that it all disappeared. And now we are making efforts to bring a bit of nature back into the city to make it more liveable.”

Written by Flanders Today