Thousands sign petition against new ‘megalomaniac’ towers in EU quarter
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    Thousands sign petition against new ‘megalomaniac’ towers in EU quarter

    A public inquiry and consultation on the project will end on 5 December. Credit: perspective.brussels

    Construction plans to send new towering buildings shooting into the Brussels skyline from the heart of the European quarter are facing opposition, with a petition against the project already garnering 4,000 signatures.

    As part of ambitions to redevelop the EU quarter, construction plans have been announced for new skyscrapers, including a new European Commission tower which is expected to dethrone the Tour de Midi as the tallest building in Brussels.

    Opposition to the project is being organised by the Montgomery-Tervuren neighbourhood committee, whose online petition has already gathered more than 4,000 signatures.

    “Every single one of these towers are all bigger and more megalomaniac than the last,” the committee wrote in the online petition, saying that the tallest one will rise to a height of 155 metres.

    The plans, spearheaded by regional authorities, have also drawn opposition from authorities of the City of Brussels and from the Royal Commission of Sites and Monuments, with both issuing negative advice for the project.

    An assessment for the construction of the towers carried out by the Master Development Plan, a body of perspective.brussels tasked with studying urban projects and strategies, is expected to wrap up on 5 December.

    Additional neighbourhood and resident groups have also spoken out against the construction plans, saying that residents are not being taken into account by authorities in such large-scale redevelopment plans.

    “We are rebuilding the city without the citizens,” Liévin Chemin of the citizens association Bral Brussels said. “There is far too little participation and the various guidelines for construction are published so quickly that we hardly have time to give our advice.”

    Aside from benefitting from little inclusion in the process, the concerns of the resident and citizen associations also centre around the expected height of the buildings.

    The concerns revolve around the impact the towers will have on the skyline and on the distribution of light and shadows in the area, with some pointing out that they will soar past the triumphal arc in the nearby Parc du Cinquantenaire.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times