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    Property developers eye up supermarkets for housing

    Belgian cities should aim as much as possible to transform flat roofs of car parks into flats and housing, argues the UPSI-BVS (the professional union of the property sector). Supermarkets have the infrastructure designed to make this happen.

    Out of the 1,461 Flemish supermarkets that project developers have investigated, 336 would be suitable.

    In Wallonia and Brussels, hundreds of sites will also be appropriate.

    The proposal aims to construct housing and apartments on car parks and flat roofs of large urban supermarkets, even to put in parks, sports grounds, schools or offices, as thought appropriate.

    “We should get rid of these large dumps with 70s-style parking,” Olivier Carrette the CEO of UPSI-BVS states.

    He says, “For part of the week as well as during the night they are underused or deserted. Supermarket-apartment combinations are an example effective use of available land.”

    Carrette is convinced that this system may respond “to the residential needs of our country for the next ten years.” There is an advantage for the sector in terms of transport and to make cities greener.

    “In the process, we can resolve a transport problem since inhabitants will not take their car to do their shopping. There is something in it for everybody; shopkeepers and residents alike. However also for communities who see the arrival of pleasant areas to live,” Mr Carette moreover adds in an interview with La Libre Belgique.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times