Until recently, cars were parked there, but now people can enjoy a snack and a drink on a terrace in the same place. From now on, these temporary terraces can win an award if they visually or functionally improve the public space.
1. Rewarding the loveliest terraces
You see them everywhere. Since May, parking spaces in many Brussels streets have made way for cosy terraces. This is the direct result of a measure approved by the Brussels government earlier this year, exempting owners of bars and restaurants from obtaining a planning permit for a temporary terrace if they comply with a few basic rules. State Secretary for Urbanism Pascal Smet and the State Secretary for Economic Transition Barbara Trachte have now taken the initiative of creating an award for terraces with functional or aesthetic added value for the public space. They are supported in this by the Brussels “Fédération Horeca”. In cooperation with State Secretary Pascal Smet, Fédération Horeca has established a plan to facilitate the reopening of our terraces. “We would like to thank him for this “Brussels Terrace Awards” initiative, and we hope that this award will encourage our entrepreneurs even more to create an attractive terrace,” Hermans Fabian of the Brussels Fédération Horeca says.
Today we transform parking places into modular terraces, but tomorrow they should also be gardens, wide sidewalks and cycle paths, sports fields, playgrounds… and of course permanent terraces. By encouraging restaurant and bar owners to create a terrace that improves the public space, we are also encouraging a more extensive reflection on the use and quality of that public space in our city.Pascal Smet, State Secretary for Urbanism
Since their reopening, bars and restaurants have been competing with each other in terms of creativity to enlarge their terraces and install them on the parking spaces they now can use. This award is an opportunity to encourage them to occupy public space in the most creative way and to celebrate the revival of the sector. It is also a good way to promote the reuse of materials.Barbara Trachte, State Secretary for Economic Transition
2. How the awards work
Brussels residents can already nominate terraces that, in their opinion, show added value for the public space for a “Brussels Terrace Award”. They can do so by sending a photo of the terrace, together with the address, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each month, a jury will select one winner from the entries. This monthly winner will receive an enamel plaque that can be placed on the terrace and a cash prize of €500. The jury will decide on the basis of the following 3 criteria:
- The temporary terrace must be installed on a parking space
- It must add value to the public urban space
- It must comply with the directives on the exemption of a planning permit.
The jury consists of representatives from urban.brussels, hub.brussels, the Brussels Bouwmeester/maître architecte (Chief Architect) and the Brussels Fédération Horeca. The first “Brussels Terrace Award” will be given at the end of August. See here for more information.