The area between the Simonis and Belgica metro stations could soon be getting a face lift. The name of the project: ParckXL28, and it was conceptualized by three Brussels residents from Koekelberg and Molenbeek. A park that would link the Simonis and Belgica stations above the railroad tracks. Lien Mostmans, Arno Vervaet and Koen Depaepe, three young parents from the neighborhood, created a website to present it to the residents of the area. The proposal is one of many responses to a city renewal contract (SVC) drawn up for the area.
In addition to connecting Elisabeth Park and L28 (the recent extension of Tour et Taxis Park), the ParckXL28 project would have the merit of connecting on both sides the neighborhoods that are today completely cut off from each other.
The parking area along the railroad is not very welcoming. There’s a lot of car noise, traffic. Not to mention the illegal dumpsLien Mostmans
The project is still being developed and local residents can propose ideas until June 2021. The main change for the plan focuses on the metro lines, and how to better integrate them into the local area
According to the Brussels Times, the project leaders envision other amenities such as a swimming pond, kids playgrounds or sporting grounds in their new green space. Other perspectives for the Simonis square include the renewal of the metro entrances, as well as pleasant waiting areas for commuters.
The three parents are regulars of the Elisabeth park on the Simonis side and Taxis on the other. That’s where their idea was born: “We often went from one park to the other,” said Arno. “We passed by this desolate landscape and thought: if we covered the tracks, it would give us 23,000 m2 of green space in the middle of Brussels.”
According to the Brussels Times, the cabinet of Brussels prime minister Rudi Vervoort announced that though they are interested in the project, a canopy of the metro lines exceeds the financial limits of the SVC.
The three creators of ParckXL28 are not deterred. They continue to motivate the residents of the area to speak out, and try to make the project become a reality.