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

Limiting private contacts ‘needed to fight autumn wave’, expert warns
The Consultative Committee announced it is introducing a handful of measures in public spaces to control the quickening spread of the coronavirus, ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
UN issues strong warning ahead of climate change summit in Glasgow
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...
Belgium’s decision on possible third shot postponed until Saturday
The decision on how Belgium will proceed with the roll-out of third shots of the coronavirus vaccine has been postponed until Saturday.  The news ...
Experts and politicians respond to new coronavirus measures
The handful of measures (re-)introduced by Belgium's Consultative Committee on Tuesday in response to the worsening coronavirus situation have had a ...
New fraudulent e-mails circulating in Belgium
A warning has been put out about new phishing e-mails that have been circulating since last Saturday and are sent from what could appear to be an ...