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PROMOTING DIALOGUE BETWEEN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC ACTORS IN BRUSSELS' EUROPEAN QUARTER

The aim of the Fund is to improve the overall image of the European quarter. It works along five major lines of action.

[1] DEVELOPING A MULTIFUNCTIONAL EUROPEAN CENTRALITY

  • With respect to improving the image of the European quarter, the Fund initiated in 2009 a project aiming to upgrade the existing patrimony and imagining new artistic interventions. Several intervention proposals were researched and consulted by Art&Facts.
  • In 2010 and 2011, the Fund organised a panel on the conditions for creating a societal mix. This panel was meant to imagine the urbanity necessary to turn the European quarter into a ‘city-centre’ of the ‘European space’, and, consequently, to try to define new activities and redevelop housing in order to make the quarter again attractive for all. (*)
  • Since 2009, and with the Brussels Region (Ministry of M. Benoît Cerexhe) as partner and the AMCV (Association du Management du Cente-Ville) as consultant, the Fund has prepared the set up of Urban Lifestyle Points – commercial clusters. This project resulted end 2012 in the creation of EQuAMA, a non-profit organisation to animate the quarter. EQuAMA will be mainly charged with the development and structuring of the image of the European quarter and assuring its promotion, improving the atmosphere and conviviality of its public spaces by small interventions, ensuring the professional coordination of both public and private spaces, providing technical and logistic support to events in the quarter while guaranteeing that they contribute to the overall positioning of the quarter, setting up commercial activities in line with the expectations of the users, and, finally, guaranteeing the accessibility of the quarter.
  • End 2011 the Fund launched a call for ideas ‘new societal activities in the EQ’. The jury withheld two proposals: ‘Danse Léopold, danst!’ of the AQL (an audiovisual portrait of the Léopold quarter revealing the diversity of cultural expressions – by music and dance – of its inhabitants) and ‘Rencontre autour des cuisines de l’Europe’ of the GAQ (organisation of a festive meeting between inhabitants of all nationalities in the quarter and the European institutions and companies of the quarter, focussing on culinary traditions of a maximum of countries, organised during the annual antiquities market on Ambiorix square).

[2] RESTORE THE MIX OF PURPOSE AND USE OF REAL ESTATE

by redevelopment of all aspects of urban life - offices, housing, commerce and proximity services - taking into account the different real estate markets.

The Fund has developed and is developing various initiatives, notably:

  • an advice about the actual urbanistic situation in the European district and about the effects of the masterplan (lawyers' cabinet Haumont, Scholasse & Partners),
  • a study about the conditions for the development of a functional mix in the European district (CLI),
  • a proposal for the constitution of 'accompanying vehicles' for the Urban Project Loi/Wet, in order to contain the risk of administrative claims and to treat the owners equitably by adapting the construction rights (Baker & McKenzie),
  • an informative publication "Espace Léopold - Europe, réurbanisation par (association de) parcelles" (NFA architects providing urban answers to the consequences of the PUL/SPW (urban project rue de la Loi/Wetstraat) beyond its perimeter, as well as to the demographic evolution,
  • a project for commercial 'clusters' [AMCV] and for managing the animation in the quarter, in public-private partnership with the Brussels-Capital Region, responding to the specific wishes of the clientele and inhabitants of the quarter.

[3] PROMOTE THE URBANISTIC QUALITY OF NEW REAL ESTATE PROJECTS, AS WELL THOSE IN PUBLIC SPACE AS BY PRIVATE DEVELOPERS,

and by doing so insist on the architectural esthetic quality of the buildings, on green areas and room for pedestrians, bicycles and users of public transport.

The Fund:

  • follows several local urbanistic and architectural projects
  • puts together the concerned promotors and organised a colloquium with the Urban Land Institute about the revival of the valley of the Maalbeek
  • promotes creative urbanism through f.e. a workshop of young urbanists at the occasion of the 'International Planning Congress' of 2007 in Antwerpen

[4] IMPROVEMENT OF MOBILITY BY GIVING PRIORITY TO PUBLIC AND SOFT [PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE] TRANSPORT

and through reducing car traffic, especially transit traffic.

Beliris has asked for a global study on mobility in the European quarter, within the area of the Masterplan.

In october 2008 the Fund brought together the main deciders and experts on mobility (the Brussels Capital Region, Beliris, the SNCB/NMBS, the MIVB/STIB and Stratec). That day allowed to clarify the present situation but also the challenges and the actual, planned and future actions.

[5] EVENTS, COMMUNICATION AND SPONSORING

  • The exhibition 'Building(s) for Europe - The changing face of Brussels' at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, in collaboration with the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Brussels Capital Region and the King Baudouin Foundation (*)
  • In collaboration with the European Commission, and since 2005, the EQF took the initiative to show the exhibition ‘Europe in Brussels – How Brussels became the Capital of Europe and this quarter its European quarter’, right outside the Berlaymont building (*)
  • The Fund supported ‘The Human Rights Project’ held in the rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, from June to September 2010 (*)
  • At the occasion of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union from July to December 2010, the Fund participated in the setting up and financing of ‘European Quarter Discovery Parcours – Rodin Exhibition’ (*)
  • The Fund sponsored and participated in the colloquium ‘Capital of Europe? How the EU is shaping Brussels – and vice versa’ organised by The European Voice on March 31, 2011.
  • In September 2011, the Fund sponsored a brochure/guide ‘Quarters for Europe’ by the organisation Brukselbinnenstebuiten (guided tours) to discover the European quarter, aimed at Dutch speaking pupils of Brussels and by extension pupils of the schools in the Flemish Community.
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(*) The publications linked to these initiatives can be consulted on the Documentation page of this site.

 

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