One of the priority development zones of the Brussels Regional government, the Biestebroeck zone of the canal, is moving nearer to reality. A meeting held a few days ago between the committee delegated to bring the different points of view together, the local inhabitants, shopkeepers and district associations, looked at the proposed ‘newPort.brussels project. A large majority expressed its approval for this plan, which is aimed at regenerating a zone of the canal close to the Chaussée de Mons and West Station. They felt that the proposal would add value to their district. The dissenting voices were mainly due to what they considered to be a plan which was too idealist and not bin keeping with the character of this zone. Nevertheless, the committee expressed a favourable opinion at the end of the meeting, which should help in moving to the next administrative stage.
The newPORT.brussels project is a development by ‘The Dock’ (Philippe de Bloos and Edith Lieckens) and involves, notably:
* A leisure port on the canal with a club
* 302 residential units from studio to 3-bedroom and designed to be flexible (spread across 9 buildings)
* A hotel
* A crèche
* Shopping, café/restaurant and fitness facilities
* A bicycle business with repair shop
* Car and bicycle parks with car-sharing and bike-sharing.
The quaysides will also be redeveloped and open to everyone, and the whole district is designed to encourage multi-modal mobility, with bikes, trains, trams, buses and possibly a river bus. Optimal energy management, rainwater recuperation, electric car and bike charging points are also in the plans.