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Resounding success of Flow is proof pools are needed, say organisers

17:29 09/08/2021

The temporary open air swimming pool in Anderlecht has been a major success so far, according to the organiser Pool is Cool. ‘Flow’ was booked solid in July and looks to see the same level of interest this month – despite the weather not always playing along.

Flow (pictured) is so popular, organisers had to turn dozens of people away every day. “That’s frustrating, of course, for both us and the public,” Paul Steinbrück, director of Pool is Cool, told VRT. “It’s very clear that Brussels really needs an outdoor swimming pool.”

The grassroots organisation Pool is Cool has been working for years to get municipal and regional authorities in Brussels to plan and build open-air pools. It has also launched pilot projects to test the quality of existing bodies of water and admit swimmers.

‘A drop in the bucket’

Flow – under the Pierre Marchant bridge – is free, but bathers must register in advance for a 45-minute slot. Numbers are limited by the coronavirus, so only 200 people are allowed to use the pool every day. The schedule only allows booking up to three days in advance, and warm days fill up fast.

The pool is funded with subsidies from regional governments and Anderlecht, but it is only meant to last until the end of August. “The only solution is that Brussels finally gets busy and plans permanent open-air swimming pools,” said Steinbrück. “Changes are happening slowly, but there is still so much work to do. We hope that this will now speed things up. Politicians who have seen the project or come to swim are convinced, in any case. Hopefully Flow can remain here to be at least a drop in the bucket.”

Head’s up: This Thursday is will see temps in Brussels of 26°C – and there are still some slots left at Flow. There are also special events at the pool, such as an open-air screening of the movie Jaws on 14 August.

Photo ©Ophelie Delarouzee/BELGA


Written by Lisa Bradshaw