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Sint-Katelijnestraat becomes an entire pedestrian street full of trees

Sint-Katelijnestraat becomes an entire pedestrian street full of trees

The City of Brussels has plans ready to redevelop Sint-Katelijnestraat into Vlaamsesteenweg and from Sint-Katelijneplein to Melsensstraat. The neighborhood will be greened and placed on one level. This should clarify the condition of the pedestrian area and ensure a greener appearance.

In August 2020, Sint-Katelijnestraat became a pedestrian zone. Except for deliveries to shops between 4am and 11am, vehicle traffic is prohibited. However, the street’s construction and layout still refer to its former state, with a cobbled sidewalk inconvenient for cyclists and pedestrians and sidewalks separating the road from the footpath.

The City of Brussels wants to change that and has plans ready to bring the street to one level. This means a central space about 3.60m wide, which will be surrounded by 30cm wide blue stone gutters. The remaining space will consist of flat stones.

There will also be 15 inverted U-shaped bike racks on the street. The lighting on the street will be retained but will be installed alternately on each side. The construction principle is the same as that of the recently redeveloped adjacent pedestrian streets, such as Boulevard Paul Defoe.

Sint-Katelijneplein and Old Graanmarkt

The extension of the road running along the south side of Sint Kateleneplein will be built on one level with the square. The blue curbstone is being removed and replaced with a street gutter.

Just as in Sint-Katelijnestraat, the drivable part is made of cobblestone, and the rest of the space is made of sheet metal. A round natural stone bench will be built around the tree in the corner with Melsensstraat.

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In addition, the barriers between Sint-Katelijneplein and Oude Graanmarkt will be lowered. With this, the city wants to create a visual connection between the two squares and pedestrians will no longer be obstructed by the height difference. Posts between the two boxes will also be removed.

art and greening

The entire decor will also undergo a greening process. A total of ten trees will be planted at Sint-Katelijnestraat: six Amelanchier trees with white flowers in February and four yellow dogwoods, with yellow flowers in February.

An artwork by Sven ‘t Jolle called “Casse toi pauvre canard” will be placed on Sint-Katelijnetoren. In order to view the work in the best conditions and enhance visibility around Sint-Katelijnetoren, the fences around the tower will be removed.

Several meetings with merchants and residents preceded this reconstruction. We are adding trees, connecting Sint Katelijneplein with the Oude Graanmarkt in one square, and expanding the pedestrian area to the entrance to the power station,” says Ans Persoons (change.brussels), a local councillor for urban planning and public space.

Awaiting permission

A reconstruction permit was requested from the area in October 2021. The next step is a public inquiry in which everyone has the opportunity to view the construction file and comment on the plans.

The advisory committee then issues positive or negative advice that determines whether a permit can be obtained. Once this is delivered, the business can begin. Reconstruction will take 100 working days. The timing and phases of the works will be checked with merchants and residents.