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Brussels region to acquire more green space for public use

06:43 14/01/2022

The Brussels region will be acquiring several plots of land along the Green Promenade in Berchem Sainte-Agathe in order to make new natural and heritage spaces available to the public and guarantee their long-term preservation.

The total area amounts to nearly an entire hectare, and the region hopes the acquisition will both relieve some of the pressure facing biodiversity as a result of climate change and take aim at the figure that one in five inhabitants of Brussels still doesn’t have access to a public green space near their home.

“This acquisition will make it possible to safeguard new natural spaces in an area in the north-west of Brussels where there is a lack of public green spaces, and is fully in line with the Government's desire to improve the quality of life of the people of Brussels and to preserve the natural spaces that make up the richness of the Region's natural heritage,” Rudi Vervoort, minister-president of the Brussels region, said in a statement.

“We are thus demonstrating our firm commitment to preserving green spaces, promoting nature in the city and strengthening the green network.”

The total cost of the acquisition amounts to €4,876,650. “With this acquisition, we are pursuing our policy of offering more nature to the people of Brussels and strengthening biodiversity in the city, with specific attention to areas lacking in green spaces,” said Alain Maron, Brussels environment minister.

“This operation is in addition to other projects carried out since 2019 in this respect, such as the purchase of the Wiels Marsh in Forest, the Sennette Park project in Anderlecht, or the opening up of the Senne river in the North District. Brussels Environment will now develop quality facilities and management, in line with the needs of users and to strengthen the quality of our urban biodiversity.”

With the acquisition, the region definitively confirmed the conservation of the natural site, which was previously constructible but has been classified as a protected site since 2006.

For several years now, various analyses and studies have shown that the site plays a valuable role for the Brussels region as a wetland, particularly in the fight against the heat island effect, which is reinforced by climate change, and as a habitat for numerous animal and plant species.

Once the transfer of ownership has been completed, the land will be managed by Brussels Environment, which will have to ensure its conservation in conjunction with the management of the Green Promenade that runs through it.

Written by Helen Lyons