Reclaiming Brussels streets: Mass picnic organised in city centre

Reclaiming Brussels streets: Mass picnic organised in city centre
The picnic took place ten years ago. Credit: Belga

Ten years ago, the Picnic The Streets organised a giant unauthorised feast on Brussels' Place de la Bourse calling for structural changes in the city. This subsequently gave birth to the pedestrian zone on Boulevard Anspach. Now, the initiative is set to return.

On Sunday 12 June, a large-scale picnic will be organised from midday onwards at the same location to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the last picnic, when more than one thousand people gathered on the square, which at the time was still accessible to cars.

The organisers are encouraging people to come together and reflect on the future of mobility in the city.

At the start of the day, an event will take place at Cinema Palace, during which videos and testimonies will be shared about what preceded Picnic the Streets and what followed it. This will trace developments to the present day, including the plans for the future of the surroundings, and how grassroots movements can help people reclaim public space.

Safer traffic management

At Porte de Flandre near the canal and the Dansaert quarter in the northwest of the city, the non-profit organisations Bral, Avansa Citizenne and Cyclo Guerilla Bxl are organising a sit-in and picnic under the name Picnic The Bridge, calling for improved traffic safety.

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"Ten years after Picnic The Streets led to the pedestrian zone in the centre of Brussels, a new similar movement is pushing for a similar approach to the traffic situation at the Porte de Flandre," the organisation said on its Facebook page.

At the intersection between Rue Dansaert, the small ring, the Chaussée de Gand and Rue de Flanders is a location where many traffic accidents happen, especially involving cyclists and cars.

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