Neighbours helped making the decisions for the redesign of the bicycle zone in Anderlecht. Surveys revealed that pedestrians and cyclists needed to be granted more space in relation to the heavy local and through traffic. Safety and community spirit were primary considerations.

Project details

Reference object

Anderlecht bicycle zone

Architect

Espaces-Mobilites (Brussels, B)

Developer

Municipality of Anderlecht

Pavers used

Terca Oud Hollands – Oud Rotterdam, WF

Available formats

WF (202 x 50 x 88 mm), DF (202 x 88 x 67 mm)

New Design Bicycle Zone in Anderlecht

New Design Bicycle Zone in Anderlecht

New Design Bicycle Zone in Anderlecht

New Design Bicycle Zone in Anderlecht

Neighbours help make the decisions

It began with an initiative from the District Committee of the King Baudoin Foundation for a project entitled “Leefwijk” (liveable district). Together with this foundation, the district committee, the municipality of Anderlecht and other partners, Espaces- Mobilites conducted an extensive survey of the residents in this district. “It very quickly became obvious that we needed to retain and even enhance the garden district character of the area. This was clearly reinforced by the opinions of the residents of the district,” recounts Cecile Dumont, director of the bike zone project at Espaces-Mobilites. “Surveys of the district committee and local schools revealed that pedestrians and cyclists needed to be granted more space in relation to the heavy local and through traffic. Safety and community spirit were primary considerations.”

Results of a survey

Cecile Dumont went on: “We were able to filter out a few important guidelines from the variety of wishes expressed by the local population: The ambiguous character of the square around St. Joseph‘s Church needed to be defined more clearly. The square was assigned the function of a common meeting place with an area for the local market, the fair and a play area, which included sufficiently large green spaces. In addition, the desire was expressed to make intersections and pedestrian crossings safer, lower the speed of traffic with speed bumps and promote pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Further to this, people wanted sufficient lighting for the church and square.”

The project takes space

The final plan envisioned a complete redesign all the way from the houses on one side of the space to those on the other. A new traffic system was developed, with vehicles banned around the edge of the square, confined to the main thoroughfare running through the middle. A residential street was created on one side of the plaza while the church square itself was provided with removable posts that allow market merchants access when needed. A triangular lawn was added with chestnut trees planted around the edge of the space while a fenced-off playground was also created with small green spaces, benches and dog area. The entire project covered an area of 7,000 m2.

The importance of using the right materials

A mixture of paving bricks, porphyry and cement bricks were used to create the surface. Wienerberger’s Terca Oud Hollands – Oud Rotterdam were specified with 3,500 m2 laid, interrupted by strips of blue granite. “This was the largest project we have done so far with paving bricks,” said Cecile Dumont. “Apart from their durability and colourfastness, we chose these pavers because of their authenticity. They harmonise perfectly with the surrounding houses and church. In addition, the pavers reinforce the garden atmosphere of the project and provide secure footing for pedestrians even in poor weather.” By renovating the bicycle zone, Espaces-Mobilites impressively demonstrated that materials with an old, authentic look can be successfully incorporated in forward-looking urban rejuvenation projects.

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