The Anderlecht district will open the first public swimming pond in Brussels in 2024, according to Brussels Minister of the Environment Alain Maron (Ecolo).
The pond will be located in the Neerpedepark of Anderlecht and is largely the result of efforts from the Pool is Cool organisation, which has been campaigning for more public swimming spots in Brussels since 2015.
“The creation of this first swimming pond and the revitalising of this park as an area of exceptional natural heritage will boost the well-being and health of Brussels inhabitants and also the ecological resilience of our region against the effects of climate change,” Minister Maron said in a press release.
Pool is Cool did a trial run on a public pool in Brussels two years ago, and hosted outdoor movie screenings at their pool this past summer as part of an initiative to encourage Brussels residents to vacation in the city rather than travel abroad during the pandemic.
A study conducted over the last two years concluded that the central pond in Neerpedepark can be transformed into a 5,000 square metre swimming pond, roughly the size of four football pitches, Bruzz reports.
There will be deeper areas for sports, but also more shallow parts where families with young children can swim.
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While Neerpedepark has several ponds, the smallest has too much biodiversity to be used for swimming. The largest pond, the Middenvijver, is sunnier and its southern part will be used for a large swimming area, with the central part used to purify the water naturally.
Such natural pools generally mean that there are limits on how long people can swim, so that the water remains clean.
The construction will be financed and managed by Beliris (a federal team that deals with projects in the Brussels region) and will begin in 2023 in order to finish by 2024. “Green, public and open spaces in the Region are gaining in importance,” said Karine Lalieux (PS), Federal Minister for Beliris.
“Relaxation, games and sports: the people of Brussels need them. This swimming pond will play an important role in this. Beliris will make our region even more enjoyable for the people of Brussels and its visitors.”
In addition to the creation of the swimming pond, the area surrounding it will also be redesigned. The pond will be open to public during the summer months from May to September, and to swimming clubs during the winter.