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In 2022, the city will also dismantle underground parts of the sorting streets ... (Antwerp)

In 2022, the city will also dismantle underground parts of the sorting streets … (Antwerp)

Members of Groen Borgerhout took action Saturday afternoon to encourage the city to do something with the underground portions of its sort streets. The city has a business plan. © rr


A year ago, the city stopped many street sorts in neighborhoods. In many of those places, the above-ground columns have been demolished, but the underground structures are still in the public domain. “Full removal is planned for 2022 and renovation or new use of the vacant space is planned.”

Members of Groen Borgerhout held an event on Saturday on Sort Street in Fonteinstraat. “A year ago, the city removed a lot of triage streets, including four in Burgerhout,” says District Council Member Peter Visers. This means: only the columns of the above-ground containers have disappeared. Nothing happened on the ground. There was only a large red and white striped hood over the opening.” Members of Groen urges the city to “redesign the space qualitatively: with a bench, a reason to play, a green or something else.”

Alderman Els van Doesburg (N-VA) gave the answer to their question on a council committee Thursday. Counties will receive a proposal by July 10 at the latest with what can be done with the relevant sites, and it will include 21 sorting streets that have been demolished across the city. From then on, a dialogue about this will start with the provinces. Districts can ask for citizens’ opinion if they want to.

“By the end of this year at the latest, there should be a concrete plan for each site,” van Doesburg says. “The complete removal of all underground parts is planned for 2022 and the restoration of the vacant space or its new use is planned.” Depending on the number of containers, the cost of dismantling the underground parts varies between 17,000 and 25,000 per sorting line.

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The city has already considered some options and it doesn’t seem like a good solution. “Reusing wells to collect rainwater is very costly compared to the environmental benefits. These are small volumes and many additional infrastructure works will be required to connect them to the water network,” says Van Doesburg. “Trees are not an option since there is not enough space under the ground.” Small farming is possible.