Good Living project: Making urban development in Brussels greener

Good Living project: Making urban development in Brussels greener
Buildings with greenery. Credit: Unsplash

The Brussels Government has announced its key priorities for its urban planning: open spaces, urbanity and habitability.

As cities transition into greener ways of living, the so-called 'Good Living' proposal focuses on creating room for leisure in the public areas of Brussel in an upgrade to its plans from 2007.

Cycling infrastructure

The Good Living project stresses that all roads in Brussels will have to include cycling infrastructure, while the pavement must be at least 2 meters wide.

Moving forward, a maximum of 50% of roads will be developed for cars; the rest will be allocated to pedestrians, cyclists, public transport, trees, games, benches and the like.

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Green space is incorporated into the plans – at least 10-15% of the surface of the road must be reserved for plants.

Renovating is key

Urban planning isn't restricted to roads and outside public areas: buildings will also be upgraded. Buildings with a surface area of over 1,000 m2 must have an open space accessible to occupants.

To boost urban development, priority will be given to projects that renovate rather than demolish. Moreover,  rainwater management will need to be integrated into new buildings. Flat roofs of more than 20 m2 will be required  to feature terraces, green roofs, urban agriculture or solar panels.

In the autumn, the Government will start consulting with municipalities and regional authorities, including Urban Brussels, the office for urban development, and the regional development commission.

Once the bill has been amended by these stakeholders, it will go back to the Government for a second reading before going before the Council of State. The Good Living proposal should be approved in the summer of 2023, after which Parliament will adopt it as legislation. Once adopted, the bill will enter into force 1 January 2024.

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