Terraces or gardens should be compulsory in new buildings, says Pascal Smet
Share article:
Share article:

Terraces or gardens should be compulsory in new buildings, says Pascal Smet

Credit: Belga

Brussels’ current urban development framework proposal should be revised again to focus more on the quality of living in the city and to make the building regulations futureproof and sustainable, according to State Secretary for Urban Development Pascal Smet.

He wrote a letter to the Brussels Parliament on Wednesday saying the coronavirus crisis has further emphasised that this is a pivotal moment for the city to solve existing issues and focuses more on the living standard of its citizens.

“We realised when looking at the current proposal on the table again that just adapting it wouldn’t be enough, but that it should be revised in a way that the quality of life of all inhabitants of Brussels is central in this transition,” Smet’s spokesperson Damiaan De Jonge told The Brussels Times.

He wants the new regulations to include the amendment of building standards to make (communal) terraces or gardens compulsory in newbuilds, to create better (bicycle) parking standards outside of public roads, and to add more green spaces in the city.

The current urban development regulations, which determine the number of squares and streets that can be laid out in the city and the standard of new buildings being added, date back to 2007.

Related News


The previous Brussels Government had already started a procedure to update these rules, and citizens were given the chance to give their opinion on the draft text before it would be approved by the current government.

However, Smet believes this draft proposal should once again be revised, and “significant improvements” should be made in light of the lessons learned from the coronavirus crisis.

“This crisis showed us the structural importance of quality buildings to live, work and learn in, coupled with high-quality outdoor space in all its forms,” he said in the letter.

Smet recognised that substantial adjustments would have to be made for the new draft, which the government is expected to approve in the summer of this year, and of which the second public inquiry will follow in the autumn.

If the new draft doesn’t face any challenges, the new rules and building standards could come into force in mid-2023.

“This is a small step back, but it will allow us to take a big step forward,” he said.

Smet worked with experts in the field to develop the new draft of regulations, and the sector has now been informed, including representatives of the construction and real estate sectors. The different administrations and municipalities will also be included in the process to make changes, De Jonge said.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Mayor wants to close two Brussels bars where alleged sexual assaults took place
Ixelles' Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said that he’d like to close the two bars that employed a man accused of raping multiple patrons, ...
‘Untenable’: Mayor says situation at Brussels North station is out of control
The situation at Brussels North Station is no longer tenable, Schaerbeek's mayor Cécile Jodogne (Défi) says. Drug dealing, homelessness, ...
Suicide second-leading cause of death among European youth
Suicide is the number two killer among young people living in Europe, a recent Unicef report on the state of their mental health found. The ...
‘Too little, too late’: Brussels mayors criticise CST implementation
After a two week delay, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will become mandatory in several situations in Brussels from today (Friday). Some mayors blame a ...
Sciensano expert warns of rising Covid-19 cases this winter
The return of colder weather and the relaxing of health measures are giving rise to new Covid-19 contaminations and hospitalisations around Belgium, ...
Hospital food is making you sick, Belgian study shows
Eating hospital meals results in a measurable decline in health, according to a report from the Flemish television network VTM, which paints a ...
Belgium in Brief: Supply Issues
There are few things more jarring than walking into a store and finding that the shelves are empty, be that partially or otherwise. One thing ...
Stolen Magritte painting on display for first time in ten years
Surrealist painter René Magritte's work "Olympia", which made headlines across the world when it was stolen from a museum in Belgium in 2009, will be ...
Brussels airport pilots ’15 minute’ PCR test
Brussels Airport has announced that it will soon begin a trial of an ultra-fast PCR test able to detect Covid-19 in 15 minutes, a far faster ...
Over 1,000 demonstrators march in Brussels following sexual assault allegations
Around 1,300 people gathered in Ixelles on Thursday night to march against sexual violence, according to reporting from Bruzz. The march was ...
Covid Safe Ticket mandatory in Brussels, but no fines yet
The Brussels-Capital Region will expand the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) from today (Friday), but it will take a few days before rule-breakers ...
Belgium hosts ‘farewell party’ for Merkel today
Angela Merkel will be in Belgium on Friday for an official visit as a symbolic "farewell" before leaving her position as German Chancellor after 16 ...