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Local projects compete to set Brussels back on track

Following the public campaign and competition initiated by Brussels tourism and chamber of commerce offices, the “Make.Brussels” is going strong and hundreds of projects have been received. With the campaign Atrium, Impulse and Beci invited the general public to develop an idea to highlight the creativity of Brussels and give new impulses to the city after the attacks.

The terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels had a big impact on local Brussels hotels, restaurants and shops. Many restaurants in the city centre have had to fire staff as tourists especially originating from the US, China and Japan chose to not visit Brussels this year.

Also the chocolate shops at Grand Place and Sablon have difficult times. Before the incidents local city guides came at least once or twice a day with a group of twenty people to visit the chocolate shops at Sablon. Nowadays they come maybe three times a week with a small group. Some shops even think about closing down their business.

To counter this situation and to promote the creativity of Brussels, Atrium, Impulse and Beci came up with the “Make.Brussels” campaign. Brussels citizens are invited to develop an idea that strengthens Brussels identity and that emphasizes the creativity in the city. This so far resulted in 372 projects presented for the 10 neighborhoods in the city center and in particular three strong remaining finalists.

Felipe Reinoso Carvalho, a Brazilian VUB/KUL-researcher and sound designer, and Elien Haentjens, a Belgian journalist and curator, came up with The Sound of Chocolate for Sablon. “We want to gather different local creative people such as chocolatiers, musicians and scientists to develop an innovative, customized sound-chocolate experience. People will be able to taste different chocolates with different kinds of music in the shops or to acquire a box of chocolates with the accompanying music, and experience the interaction and power of their senses at home”, tells the duo.  

“On the long term we want to create a state-of-the-art experience for tourists visiting Brussels, and an original present for the people from Brussels. But on the short term we also want to organise concerts or parties with the participating musicians and chocolatiers to bring new life to Sablon after the events of the past months. We’re happy that Make.Brussels comes as an opportunity to boost local tourism, helping our city to gain back its attractiveness”, concludes the duo.

Everybody can vote for as many projects he or she wants untill Friday the 20th of May at midnight on the website of Make.Brussels.

The Brussels Times