By 2023, cars will no longer be allowed to park in front of buildings classified as Brussels heritage in the Capital Region, decided Brussels State Secretary for Urban Planning and Heritage Pascal Smet.
As Brussels wants to become the capital of Art Nouveau in 2023, the city wants to show off many of its beautiful buildings – most of them the result of the artistic movement from the late 19th century.
Most of those buildings are also classified as heritage – meaning they must be preserved for their historical, architectural and/or aesthetic value, and are therefore placed on an official list – but vehicles are often parked in front of them, preventing admirers from taking a photo or admiring them in their entirety.
"It is incomprehensible: if you are standing in front of the Solvay Hotel, for example (a building on Avenue Louise designed by Victor Horta, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and you see a van or a truck in front of it, it is not right," Smet told RTBF, adding that some other European cities have already banned parking in front of their protected buildings.
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The measure will be ratified in 2023 and included in the Regional Urban Development Regulations (GSV). Still, it has already been approved in a first reading and will go into a public enquiry on 12 December.
The measure will also apply to private classified houses, intended for residential use, meaning residents could lose a parking space for their own car in front of the door. "In general, there are other parking spaces" in the neighbourhood, said Smet.
In total, the Brussels-Capital Region has around 4,000 listed properties, of which over 1,000 in the garden city district of Logis-Floréal in the municipality of Watermael-Boitsfort alone.