Friday, 16 April 2021
The Brussels neighbourhood between the Simonis and Belgica metro stations is ready for better infrastructure, according to residents who have set out to propose a new green area on top of the metro lines: Parck XL28.
This proposal is just one response to a city renewal contract (SVC) drawn up for the area, aiming to facilitate urban change across the Koekelberg and Sint-Jans-Molenbeek municipalities.
The project is still being developed, and local residents can propose ideas until June 2021, Parck XL28 has already garnered more than one thousand signatures – and keeps on going.
The main change for the plan focuses on the metro lines, and how to better integrate them into the local area, with supporters arguing on their website that that “a long, deep, open train and metro channel currently cuts off the surrounding neighbourhoods”.
The solution, to them, is to build a canopy over the already existing metro lines and extend the neighbouring L28 park over it in order to better connect the neighbourhoods.
“I know the neighbourhood very well and even as a student in the 2000s I found it a shame that I had to walk through a fairly dingy stretch from Simonis to Belgica,” Co-initiator Lien Mostmans told Bruzz,” There is a lot of parking, it is dark and there is little social control. That’s a missed opportunity.”
The initiators envision other relaxation options such as a swimming pond, kids playgrounds or sporting grounds in their new green space. They also hope the park would open up new possibilities for the Simonis square such as the “renewal of the metro entrances, pleasant waiting and seating areas for commuters and a place for socio-artistic development”.
Whether the proposal will be carried out remains unknown. The cabinet of Brussels prime minister Rudi Vervoort commented that though they are interested in the project, a canopy of the metro lines exceeds the financial limits of the SVC.
Until 19 April, interested residents can share their ideas through a survey compiled by the appointed study agency perspective.brussels. The survey is also connected to a 5 km neighbourhood trail along the various sites and projects of the preliminary program to inform locals of the possible options.
The Brussels Times