'Green promenade' to replace motorway in Brussels shopping zone

'Green promenade' to replace motorway in Brussels shopping zone
The Brussels Capital Region has introduced a construction permit to transform the area between Avenue Louise and Porte de Namur into a “green city promenade.” The motorway that currently cuts through this popular shopping zone at in the heart of Brussels would make way for cycle paths, trees and a broad pedestrian esplanade.

“Now there will be real urban promenade zones, and we will connect the upper and lower parts of the city with an area similar to the Champs Elysées,” Brussels Mobility Minister Pascal Smet said, referring to Paris’ famed shopping avenue.

The project which will connect the nearby areas of Saint-Gilles and Ixelles with the city centre, in an aim to create “high quality” public spaces.

This means that areas destined to vehicle circulation will be largely diverted and reduced. Driving access to the area will be mainly reserved to local residents —who will be “encouraged” to use traffic tunnels—, and special arrangements will be made to avoid disrupting the activities of the shops and businesses in the area, according to Smet’s website.

The study of the building application is likely to start after the summer, and construction works are expected to begin in the second half of 2020.

With an estimated budget of €10 million, this is one of several re-urbanisation projects recently undertaken by the Belgian capital to drastically transform some of its most traffic-heavy zones.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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