Evenepoel Temporary Park: a little foretaste of mediapark.brussels

15 June 2022
The plan of Evenepoel Temporary Park. (© sau-msi.brussels)The first opening of Evenepoel Temporary Park to local residents in June 2021. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The first opening of Evenepoel Temporary Park to local residents in June 2021. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)The first opening of Evenepoel Temporary Park to local residents in June 2021. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)

A temporary park area of more than one hectare will be open on the mediapark.brussels site and accessible via Rue Evenepoel from 15 June to 21 August, every Wednesday to Sunday between 2.30 pm and 9 pm. Local people will be able to go there to have a walk, relax or enjoy a picnic under the shade of the tall trees. Children can play there and teenagers can engage in sporting activity.

The Urban Development Corporation (sau-msi.brussels), which is steering the development of mediapark.brussels, is coordinating the opening of this temporary park on part of this site in close consultation with the following partners:

  • the Region, which is partially funding the project;
  • the Schaerbeek Tenants’ Association, which has hired the five activity leaders who will be present during opening hours;
  • the municipality of Schaerbeek, which is jointly funding these recruitments and will be responsible for part of the programme of activities;
  • the Foyer Schaerbeekois, which is also jointly funding the staff costs and will ensure a daily presence on site via its social officers;
  • VRT, which has made the land available and will provide a night-time security service and keep the park clean.

 

As Regional Minister-President Rudi Vervoort explains, ‘This partial and temporary opening of mediapark.brussels reflects the desire of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region to give access to more green spaces to people in Brussels, many of whom do not have a garden. In addition, this temporary park offers a kind of foretaste of the future green spaces that will ultimately be accessible to local residents elsewhere on the mediapark.brussels site and that will be linked to the surrounding districts by new traffic routes reserved for non-motorised and public transport. Instead of the current fenced-off site of the public TV broadcasters RTBF and VRT, the Region has given the SAU the task of creating a new district which is open to the city. Its various functions (new RTBF and VRT buildings, housing, businesses, shops, schools, nurseries, etc.) will be structured around some 9.5 hectares of open and wooded public spaces.’

Gilles Delforge, the director of the Urban Development Corporation, notes: ‘The SAU has created an entrance from Rue Henri Evenepoel to the temporary park area, behind the buildings of the Foyer Schaerbeekois, where it has installed some lightweight infrastructure: a picnic area, sports and leisure equipment, premises for activity leaders and so on. I would like to thank the partners who supported us when we put forward this idea for this location: the Brussels Region, the municipality of Schaerbeek, the Foyer Schaerbeekois, the Schaerbeek Tenants’ Association, VRT and RTBF. We have already tested this temporary park during the summer of 2021, but we restricted the circulation of information about its opening to the inhabitants of Rue Henri Evenepoel and Rue Jules Lebrun, primarily in order to ensure that the use of the park would not disturb the peace and quiet of residents living right next to it. As everything went well, we are repeating the experience this year, but advertising it more widely.’

‘For three months throughout the summer,’ adds the Mayor of Schaerbeek, Cécile Jodogne, ‘we will be running a range of activities available to a very varied public in our squares and parks in every district. For the second year, the temporary opening of this park is a real godsend for the inhabitants of the district, who will need to be patient as work starts in this part of the city in September.’

Anne Timmermans, General Director of the Foyer Schaerbeekois, comments: ‘Given the success of last summer, the Foyer Schaerbeekois is delighted to repeat this delightful project, which forges a link and goes beyond the simple relationship between owner and tenant. By working with the local residents, we are improving social cohesion and the quality of life for everyone.’

Quentin Charon, the coordinator of the Schaerbeek Tenants’ Association, adds: ‘The Schaerbeek Tenants’ Association, a non-profit organisation whose local roots were created through the development of the Reyers Social Cohesion Project, has taken the opportunity provided by the opening of the mediapark.brussels temporary park to hire an activities team that will bring this place to life during the summer of 2022. This project is all about a willingness to listen, a friendly social atmosphere and activities for young and old alike. The general idea is to work with the social tenants to ensure that their voices are heard in the context of the upcoming transformations of their neighbourhood.’

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