The adjusted plans for a new hostel in the city centre of Brussels, which is expected to make the region more attractive to young people, have now been approved.
In line with the regional government's ambition to take the centre of the capital city in a new direction — which includes transforming the area's road into pedestrian zones — the new youth hostel will be built on the Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains, near Place Sainte-Catherine, and is expected to attract more young people to the city.
"Brussels is a young and diverse city full of energy, but we need to be able to welcome more young people," State Secretary for Urbanism and Heritage, Pascal Smet, said, stressing that cities must be able to keep up with the times.
"It is extremely important to make sure they can stay here. This new youth hostel in the city centre meets this need," he added.
Space for 182 young people
Changes were made to the original designs dating back to 2019 to ensure the building will fit nicely into the neighbourhood. The building used to be a medical home in its past life, however, it has been vacant for many years now.
Soon, some 182 young people can be accommodated in the building, which will include 41 rooms, as well as a restaurant at the front of the building and common areas where exhibitions, workshops and other events can take place at the back of the building.
The creation of the hostel is in line with the authority's "10-minute city" ambition, with the aim to equip all the neighbourhoods with collective facilities such as housing, schools, crèches, sports halls, cultural centres, green spaces, among others.
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The operator, Réseau des 10 Auberges, is a non-profit organisation, which guarantees that the hostel will offer quality accommodation at a reasonable price.
"The youth hostel near the Place Saint-Catherine seems to us to be an absolute necessity. This square is an attraction and a symbol of tourism and international and intercultural encounters in the heart of Brussels," President of the Association, Jean-Philippe Cuvelier, said.