The ‘Summer at Josaphat’ programme

30 July 2020
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‘Summer at Josaphat’, the temporary occupation programme organised by the Urban Development Corporation (SAU) at the request of the Brussels Regional Government, will run from 1 August to 22 October 2020 on part of the old Josaphat marshalling yard. The site map with practical information (access, activities, timetable, rules, etc.) can be viewed and downloaded HERE.

The following facilities are open every day: the walking path, the refreshment bar, the terrace and the relaxation area with deckchairs and umbrellas (where picnic is possible), the pétanque and cage football, the marquee, the information point and the toilets.
During the weekends in August:

- performing arts group ‘Les Nouveaux Disparus’ will run a series of activities. In particular, on Saturdays, it will organise creative workshops for children from 10 am to midday, a storytelling session from 1.30 to 3.30 pm, a choral singing workshop for adults from 3.30 to 4.30 pm (from 15/08) and a number of concerts starting at 6.30 pm (08/08: Anwar; 15/08: YayaBossa; 22/08: Sibel; 29/08: Lucie-Valentine).
- a food truck will be present on site as well as the bar.

A new leisure space close by

In the context of its Restart and Redeployment Plan presented on Tuesday 7 July, the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region tasked the Urban Development Corporation (SAU) with organising a temporary occupation programme on part of the site of the former Josaphat marshalling yard, which the SAU owns. For the past three weeks, the SAU has worked flat out to bring to fruition in record time the desire expressed by Minister-President Rudi Vervoort ‘to create areas where the Region’s population can enjoy some time outside and socialise, and in particular to give them access to more green spaces’.

The ‘Summer at Josaphat’ programme organised by the SAU will give the people of Brussels access to the site between 9 am and 9 pm from 1 August to 22 October 2020. They will be able to walk, relax in the sunshine, picnic, enjoy a drink and play pétanque in the areas delimited for the purpose and in compliance with the Covid-19 hygiene rules.

Minister-President Rudi VERVOORT praised the speed with which this project has been turned into reality and congratulated all those who have made it possible: ‘Thanks to this energetic and well-coordinated action, from this Saturday 1 August the people of Brussels will have a new leisure space close by, on land that the Region wished to make accessible to them. They will be able to spend time outside during the beautiful sunny days ahead and enjoy the activities that have been laid on in compliance with public health rules.’

Gilles DELFORGE, the director of the SAU, stated that ‘In this very short three-week period, working with various actors, we have already succeeded in putting a number of arrangements in place. Some of these are already being worked on, and others will evolve further. From this Saturday 1 August, especially given the weather forecast, the people of Schaerbeek, Evere and Brussels in general can enjoy a great day exploring the site with family or friends. All the ingredients will be there: a path for walking, a refreshment bar, a terrace, a relaxation area with deckchairs, pétanque and cage football, a marquee, an information point, toilets... “Les Nouveaux Disparus”, a non-profit organisation which has been one of our temporary occupants on this site for several years, will run construction workshops for visitors using pallets, during which furniture such as benches will gradually be produced for this temporary park. It will also ensure that the site is run smoothly, including reception, information, a refreshment bar, compliance with the rules, dealing with litter and so on. We are also planning a cultural activity every weekend, in compliance with the Covid-19 public health rules. The SAU has also launched a call for food trucks to be present during the weekends. I am very grateful to all those who have made it possible for the SAU to meet this operational challenge in three weeks. During this period, we have also informed the non-profit sector through the municipalities of Evere and Schaerbeek and the local residents through the neighbourhood committees. As announced, we have also had fences put up to ensure that visitors are kept at a safe distance from the railway tracks and, in consultation with Brussels Environment, to delimit a large area of the site which will remain inaccessible.’

The temporary park is located on the site of the future linear park featured in the project for the development of the former Josaphat marshalling yard, and has the same basic outline.

The new activities will be announced on the SAU’s social media channels: