Antwerp plans total remake of Astridplein in front of station
Share article:
Share article:

Antwerp plans total remake of Astridplein in front of station

The Astridplein, dominated by the station, with the Zoo on the left. © Visit Flanders

The Koningin Astridplein in Antwerp, the first view many visitors to the city have once they leave the Central Station, is to be completely renovated, and the people of the quarter will have a say.

Travellers coming out of the Central Station should get a wow feeling again,” said Claude Marinower (Open VLD), city councillor in charge of the public domain.

It is a fact that Antwerpen Centraal is one of the most striking views in the world presented to new arrivals to the city. Unfortunately the main square in front of the station leaves all of that magnificence behind.

The square has the Zoo tucked away in the corner, the Queen Elisabeth Hall on one side, some fast-food restaurants on the other side and, for the rest, nothing of note.

The last overhaul came in 2006, and unfortunately appears to have been carried out without any consultation of users.

The square, designed by the Spanish plaza architect Jordi Farrando, was paved with natural stone, which is a nightmare for cyclists when it rains – a factor Farrando may have overlooked.

Cycle paths were marked out by steel studs in the surface, but nobody including cyclists knew what they were for, and further confusion ensued.

The square now has a somewhat run-down appearance and is regularly a victim of vandalism,” said Marinower.

We initially planned to stick to a makeover. But research shows that more is needed. The natural stone, used during the renovation in 2006, regularly causes headaches.”

There is also a need for something to fill the vast space between the station and the main public transport hub along the Carnotstraat facing the station.

The first phase will begin in September, when people in the area will be consulted regarding what changes they think should be made. That promises to be a lively debate, assuming the users of the Queen Elisabeth Hall are not at one with the snack bars on the opposite side of the square.

But the actual work will not begin until 2022, when the present city council is still in place. The budget is fixed for the time being at €3.8 million, and Councillor Marinower is not alone in wondering if that will be enough.

Latest news

Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
Belgium in Brief: Feeling Good/ Pandemic Law
Yesterday I said I was writing a newsletter I didn't want to write again. Today I'm writing another one ahead of a meeting that wasn't supposed ...
Eating less meat won’t actually help much with Flemish CO2 emissions
When it comes to the ways in which ordinary people can help to reduce CO2 emissions, eating less meat is often touted as an important solution. ...
At least one in seven coronavirus patients suffers from long-term Covid
Six months after becoming infected with the coronavirus, at least one in seven people still show symptoms connected to the infection, varying from ...
Operation Sky ECC: Major arrests and another large scale operation
A major operation took place last night in Belgium as a result of Operation Sky ECC, the name given to an investigation into organised crime that ...