© Séverin Malaud



In the heart of the Dansaert district in Brussels’ city centre, the Place du Nouveau Marché aux Grains is a much used public space. A basketball court stands in its centre, while the benches dotted around it welcome local residents, pupils, workers and visitors, who settle down in the shade of the sycamores for a break. It is bordered by numerous amenities, shops and restaurants.

This space causes some concerns in terms of cohabitation: young girls do not feel comfortable there, especially after dark, while the De Mot-Couvreur school does not have a forecourt, as the space in the front of the school serves as a car park. In addition, the building site for the social housing units on Rue du Rempart des Moines will increase the pressure on public space for many years, exacerbating the need for quiet recreational areas.

The City of Brussels wishes to redevelop the square, with the following main objectives: redefinition of the site, improvement of its identity through the featuring of artwork or a design-element, renovation of the basketball court and expansion of the potential uses of the space, inclusiveness by taking into account the gender issue as a priority, as well as improvement of accessibility to active modes of travel, increase of biodiversity and living conditions of the existing trees. For this purpose, a multidisciplinary team is required. Only the core competencies are requested now; the other competencies should only be added later so that the first-step application is simpler and open to more candidates.