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Plans for pedestrian Schuman Square underway

© COBE via Pascal Smet
© COBE via Pascal Smet

An application for a construction permit to make Brussels’ Schuman square primarily pedestrian has been introduced, Brussels Minister of Mobility and Public Works announced on May 3.

“Don’t call it a roundabout anymore,” Pascal Smet said on Twitter, as he unveiled the next step in the project, which has been in the planning stages for just over a year.

“The Schuman roundabout will be given (..) back to Brussels’ citizens and to Europeans, in order to become an urban agora and a peaceful living space at the heart of the European quarter,” Smet said.

The project for the new square would do away with most vehicle lanes in order to create a large pedestrian zone linking Rue de la Loi with the Cinquantenaire park, with vehicle transit reduced to a single lane between Rue de La Loi and Cortenbergh avenue.

Due to its sensible location in close proximity to the European Institutions, the roundabout will employ architectural features as built-in security measures.

A small wall will be erected between the future esplanade and the Berlaymont and the European Council buildings, which will not only aim to ward off any potential intrusions into the area but also double as a vertical garden and a bench.

The project will aim to introduce some greenery into the square and its surrounding areas, as it will include a mirrored central canopy with a green rooftop and will see the lane leading up to Cinquantenaire lined up with trees.

The square’s transformation will be carried out by Belgian architecture firm BRUT and Danish firm COBE, after both firms’ proposals were selected out of a pool of over 20 international firms in a contest launched in 2015.

Construction is expected to start in the second semester of 2020, with an estimated budget of €7,78 million.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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