Brussels' only open-air swimming pool FLOW will be re-opening to the public on Friday 1 July, just in time for summer.
The free 17x7-metre public outdoor pool was launched last year by POOL IS COOL, an organisation that wants to reintroduce open-air swimming to the region which otherwise offers few places for residents to cool down.
"Everything is running smoothly and according to plan. We are now putting the finishing touches to the site and will be ready to open on Friday," POOL IS COOL's Paul Steunbrück told The Brussels Times.
The pool at the canal in Anderlecht has capacity for 200 swimmers a day and will remain open throughout the summer holidays until 18 September.
This year, a kiosk beside the pool will serve a wide array of local products. "Most products that are sold at the stall, from beers to the ice cream and fries, are from Brussels suppliers," Steunbrück said.
Throughout the summer, the pool will be open to everyone looking to cool down in the afternoon. Time slots can be booked three days in advance at the pool itself for free or on the organisation's website.
Aside from being able to swim in the open-air pool, various arts and sports events will also be organised, especially in the evening, such as boxing initiation courses, lively workshops for children, dance shows, concerts, DJ sets and more.
The pool can be accessed by the metro lines 1 and 5 (stop Saint Guidon), or by bus 78 (Petite Île).
The Brussels region, as well as Flanders and Wallonia, are increasingly understanding the growing need for accessible swimming spots. This is especially clear in urban areas where the heat is often more noticeable and where people have less access to open spaces.
“Those who do not have the opportunity to go to Cannes or Knokke in the summer also deserve relaxation in the water,” said Pascal Smet, State Secretary for Urban Development and a long-time proponent of open-air swimming in the city.
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Although there is growing support for the cause – the government earlier this year agreed to partially fund an open-air swimming pool on the roof of Manufakture in Anderlecht which will look out to the city’s skyline – resources for such initiatives remain limited, resulting in POOL IS COOL launching a crowdfunding campaign to keep the pop-up pool open this summer.
The campaign is still ongoing, and with the money the organisation raises, it hopes to install new features, such as a sauna to entice visitors during colder months, and a water filter system to make the pool more ecological.
"Continued support for the crowdfunding action is very important for us because it enables us to continue to offer open-air swimming in the long term," Steunbrück concluded.