Behind the station, Mechelen is developing plans for an urban development project unprecedented in scale: a fifty-hectare space between the Leuven Diegel Canal, the central workshop of NMBS and the Bos van Loos. The master plan on the table will provide space in the coming decades to realize 140,000 square meters of offices and a total of 2,750 homes here.
“They are happy to invest here”
For the first time, the city council resolutely selects high-rise buildings with towers from ten to eighteen floors. Lots of people came to the information moment on Saturday afternoon. “Ragino is today a forgotten and abandoned part of the city. I am glad they are investing here. Galpagos, my company, is also moving to this place. We are looking forward to. The city can be a city. I just hope this keeps Michelin’s green edge” Says Wendy Troch.
Also Read: Towers in the Future City District Behind Mechelen Skyline Redesign Station
She herself lives with her family on the other side of Bos van Loos, in Spreeuwenhoek in Muizen. “I’m a little worried about the traffic,” Wendy Troch says. In the master plan, the city assumes a largely car-free neighborhood. Access must be made via a new Arsenal connection directly connected to the Diamond.
Neighbor Christoph Wag lives in Hansvigkwart. “My first impression is that this project is good for the city and the developers, but not for the people who invested in this city ten years ago. Then no one wanted to buy a house here.
The man is worried about the future. “We would love to live in the area, but for the next fifteen to twenty years we will be living here on a construction site. The project is too big for you to do anything about. We just have to get through it. We came to live here because it was quiet and out of town. Now it is done,” says Faggs. Throw the city at us.”
“The place looks nice and interesting, but the tall buildings scare me a little,” says local Alex Perremans. Together with his friend, he wanted to better acquaint himself with the project. “So far, the plans for us have been a bit far from my bed. Hopefully the traffic disruption won’t be so bad and the Coloma Bridge will remain open.”
Read also: A new street with a population of 21.5 million connects Masa to the Mechelen Ragino district
Daniel Jardine moved from Hove to Geerdegemvaart over a year ago. “In the evening, I enjoy the view of the station and Sint-Romboutstoren. I wonder if I will see it again in the future.” I noticed that there are a lot of projects in the pipeline at Mechelen. “They are building entire villages. So many people there, what does that mean for quality of life?”
Luk Persoon has worked for a moving company in Ragheno Park for twenty years. “At the time, there was still talk of a road connecting the business park directly to the highway. At the beginning of the 2000s, homes were demolished even to find space for businesses. Eddie Moles has lived in the area for nearly 25 years. He participated in the neighborhood committee in the area Arsenal for a long time, he says, “We would have liked to have sat at the table throughout the whole process to the master plan, but we hardly heard.”
In 2023, the city hopes to obtain an approved Spatial Implementation Plan (RUP) for Ragheno. In case of success, the developers of the project can apply for permits to build houses and utilities. Building the Arsenal link, which the city currently aims to achieve in 2025, is essential.