In 2015, the government of the Brussels-Capital Region initiated the Canal Plan in the central part of the city, on both sides of the waterway. The government has given itself ten years to achieve its ambitions.
The Plan’s goals are as follows:
• To keep economic activity in the city and bring the places where people live and work closer together;
• To create housing that reflects the needs of population growth and the budgets of all household types;
• To create pleasant, unifying public spaces by taking full advantage of the Canal axis, the uncovering of the Senne and the Canal’s crossing-points as linkages between different districts;
• To create the conditions for a city that is open (to different functions, a diverse population, etc.) in an area that has been earmarked to receive new populations in the Brussels Region.
Realising these goals involves:
• Creating and promoting functional diversity by working on urban forms and planning programmes that enable different functions to co-exist;
• Rationalising land use and attempting to use it intensively;
• Using public spaces as the starting point for determining the form of the city.
• The government has given itself ten years to achieve its ambitions in the Canal Area. To mobilise the Canal Area’s potential, it has defined an operational zone of 700 hectares, including 300 hectares of public land, and appointed a dedicated team bringing together several of Brussels’ public bodies. This team operates according to an original method, based on co-construction and project-based urban development.
It consists of:
• The bouwmeester, acting as guarantor of the overall vision of the Canal Plan and playing an advisory role to ensure a high level of architectural and urban quality;
• The bouwmeester’s research by design unit, which translates the ambitions of the Canal Plan into designs and contributes to the development of project plans;
perspective.brussels, the Brussels Planning Agency, responsible for planning, detailed elaboration and the monitoring of the regulatory framework;
• A Canal Plan team at urban.brussels, responsible for drawing up all regional planning applications within the Canal Plan area, whose involvement extends from the period prior to the submission of applications through until the issuance of urban planning permission;
• A team of project leaders at the Urban Development Corporation (SAU-MSI). The SAU-MSI is responsible for the operational implementation of the Canal Plan. As the latter’s operational zone is one of the intervention zones of the SAU-MSI within which it has limited control over land, it plays both a coordinatory role and, in some cases, an operational role there (more information here).
The Canal Plan is a collective project. The municipalities and all the regional services concerned are involved in the definition of all projects.
For more information on the Canal Plan >>> www.canal.brussels