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Locals to have input on new-look Place Sainctelette

21:44 28/02/2021

Local residents and commuters can have their say about the reconstruction of Brussels' inner ring between between Place Sainctelette and Yser - at present a busy, dangerous and anarchic combination of cars, trucks, trams, buses, bicycles and pedestrians.

In 2017, the Brussels government organised a competition for a new Place Sainctelette and surroundings. The French landscape architects of Agence Ter, who worked together with the Brussels office Karbon and the engineering office Arcadis, secured the contract.

Their design focuses on more usable space for pedestrians. For instance Kanal-Centre Pompidou and the Kaaitheater will have a large forecourt as the wide and unused central median will disappear, moving vehicular traffic towards the centre of the thoroughfare.

The double bridge over the canal will then be widened, creating space on both sides for a pedestrian esplanade and separate two-way cycle paths.

The Place de l’Yser will get a thorough facelift and the green network of the Maximilian Park will be extended to the wharves and where already a new canal cycle path is being constructed under the bridge.

"We aim to give back to the residents the public space that is freed up by the reorganisation," said mobility and public works minister Elke Van den Brandt. "That is precisely why it is so important to involve them in the concrete implementation."

She added: "Road safety and a more balanced distribution of space are our goals. Pedestrians, cyclists and public transport will be given more space.

"Moreover, we are making Sainctelette a multimodal hub, so that switching from one mode of transport to another will be easier."

The participation process will run in different phases. Everyone can fill in an online questionnaire, in which they can share experiences and make suggestions.

A team will take to the streets this month to present the same survey to all local residents, so that people without computer access can also give their opinion. Corona-proof workshops will be organised in March with city associations and local merchants.

Written by Richard Harris