The Avenue de la Toison d’Or and the Boulevard de Waterloo in the city center will be redeveloped to form ‘the Champs-Elysées of Brussels’ as called by many. This could be one of the most impressive projects Brussels has ever seen.
The project will see a radical transformation of the area stretching from the Porte de Namur to Avenue Louise. This will include wider pavements, bike lanes, reduced traffic, and an end to nearly all surface parking areas.
Former mobility and public works minister Pascal Smet proposed two years ago the project, planned by the Bruno Fortier Workshop group in cooperation with Polo architects, Arcadis and CityTools.The redevelopment project, which was presented before the regional elections in 2019, is now moving forward to a different phase: the public inquiry which started on Wednesday 27th of January 2021.
This project will give access to pedestrians to stroll on the pavements, both on the consumer side Toison d’Or and on the luxury shopping side of Boulevard de Waterloo without any obstructing views from endless rows of parked cars.
There will be new trees aligned, with two colored granite pavements which will have more benches, gardens, public arts, and food stalls.
2. Future prospects
This project has also encountered some objections from local residents and traders who supported an alternative proposal from architect Pierre Lallemand, which was a 4,000m² wood and glass bubble that would have a garden built over three floors, as well as shops and cultural spaces. It was supported by BECI (Brussels Chamber of Commerce) and Interparking. The proposal, however, had problems over permits and its file remains incomplete.
Reconfiguration of the section running from the boulevard de Waterloo to the avenue de la Toison d’Or in Brussels#bxl #brussels #welovebrussels #architecture #urbanisme #mobility #toisondor #guldenvlies #portedenamur #naamsepoort #uptownbrussels #plpa #pierrelallemand pic.twitter.com/wlHihw1WPU— Pierre Lallemand & Partners (@PLPA_eu) May 17, 2019
The ‘Champs-Elysées Brussels’ would have a cost of about €10 million’ and remains as the only one at the final stage. There are still hindrances from the mayors of the City of Brussels, Philippe Close, and Ixelles Christos Doulkeridis.
Porte de Namur is in a neglected state, lacking green space in the upper city and an overall excess of car traffic. These two mayors want the area to be addressed as a whole, not just the main boulevards.
With the pandemic and its associated restrictions ongoing, no date has yet been set for the consultation committee to meet once the public and take a decision.
The City of Brussels has said the current health crisis will also affect the number of opponents turning up at a hearing to voice their concerns.