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Brussels greenlights pedestrian zone at Place Royale

Credit: Belga/Maxime Anciaux

The City of Brussels has approved the new plans for the Place Royale in the city, transforming almost the entire square into a pedestrian zone.

Plans to redevelop the Place Royale had already been submitted once, but constructor Beliris was asked to take the focus off of cars, and give more space to pedestrians and cyclists.

In the latest version, the pedestrian zone will much larger: 80% of the square will be pedestrianised, compared to the first-proposed 20%.

The roundabout will be turned into an intersection, with a limited lane for cars and trams – allowing pedestrians to walk up to the statue of Godfrey of Bouillon on the square.

“Today, cars have free rein on the square, leading to chaos for the vulnerable road user,” said Ans Persoon, Brussels alderman for Urban Planning and Public Space.

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“By strongly defining the place for car traffic, a sea of space is freed up. The neo-classical Place Royale is a unique square in Brussels,” she said. “After the redevelopment, it will be much easier to stay on the square and enjoy its patrimonial splendour.”

Additionally, a new public enquiry will also be started, as the plans have changed a lot compared to the first ones that were submitted in 2018.

“This will give us the opportunity to tackle the situation for cyclists and question about the old pavements,” said Brussels Secretary of State for Urbanism Pascal Smet.


On Monday evening, the redevelopment of the square will be discussed at the municipal council, according to Persoons.

“[Brussels] City, Beliris and the Region reached an agreement in which there is much more space for cyclists and pedestrians, while respecting the neoclassical character of the square,” Persoons tweeted.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times