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Public invited to choose a name for new park in Molenbeek

11:53 13/07/2023

Brussels Environment has launched a citizen participation project to name a future park near the Brussels-West station in Molenbeek, reports RTBF.

Of the 19 municipalities in Brussels, Molenbeek stands out for its tendency to associate popular names with the official names of streets, squares and infrastructures.

For example, it is affectionately nicknamed Muilebeik and the Cour Saint Lazare is known as “den blok”. This phenomenon reflects the active involvement of the local population in shaping Molenbeek’s toponymy.

Building upon this spirit of community engagement, users of the park are invited to submit their suggestions for its name by 30 August.

Brussels environment minister Alain Maron actively promotes citizen participation in this decision. Suggestions can be deposited in the idea box in the park’s pavilion until the end of the summer, or people can take advantage of the PleinOPENair cinema screenings on 14 and 15 July when a call for ideas will be launched.

This three-hectare area, currently referred to as ‘Westparc’, is part of the ongoing Brussels-West station Urban Renewal Contract. The aim is to create an evolving and dynamic space that aligns with the wishes of local residents while respecting the environment. Embracing an eco-friendly and locally-driven approach, the materials needed to create the park are sourced from a local recycling centre in Molenbeek.

Potential sources of inspiration for the name could lie in the region’s fauna, flora or history, but citizens could also choose to honour a personality, particularly a woman, as fewer than 10% of streets in Brussels bear women’s names. The final name will be revealed at the park festival on 23 September.

Although its official inauguration is slated for 2026, the unnamed space is already offering a teaser of its future utility by hosting various temporary activities during the summer.

Since April, a modular pavilion provides a covered area equipped with essential sanitary facilities, which is available for sports activities, relaxation or any local initiatives, such as PleinOPENair.

In order to accommodate visitors during the summer season, the park’s opening hours have been extended: it now welcomes visitors from Wednesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 19.30.

Written by Eve Filée