A green Zenne for Brussels

A redevelopment vision of Anspachlaan in Brussels

Parklaan Landschapsarchitecten collaborated with Myrna Baks in developing a design for Brussels’ Anspachlaan, a wide traffic artery which runs right through the city. The plan was submitted as an entry for a design competition organised in 2011 by the Brussels Council for the Environment (Bral).

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Caption: Grand Square (Beursplein) to become the place to meet on Aspachlaan

The plan transforms the busy traffic axis, which splits Brussels city centre in two, into a connecting green river, the park strip. The River Zenne once flowed here. Parklaan restored this historic line as the Green Zenne.
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now: Anspachlaan is a barrier within the city

later: the park strip connects squares and parks




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from a busy traffic artery

to a green urban park strip


It is to become the green artery within Brussels’ inner city ringroad. Not only does the Green Zenne connect squares and parks, it is also large enough itself to serve as a park strip. Gently sloping lawns, scattered trees and peripheral seating form the basis of a plan which also takes the residents’ wishes into account, such as the integration of playgrounds, playing fields and flower meadows.

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The Green Zenne and the adjacent properties offer excellent accessibility to pedestrians and cyclists alike, both by means of broad promenades and a high quality cycle street and via the metro concealed beneath the park. The metro entrances and exits are to be transformed into green gateways to the park strip.

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Grand Square, which currently comprises no more than several flights of steps and has therefore already prompted the organisation of several demonstration picnics on Anspachlaan, is now to become a pedestrian zone and therefore become a real public square. It is the meeting place within the city, a high quality public space where the Zenne will become visible in the form of foaming fountains which conjure up an image recalling the history of the development of Brussels. It is a square where people can meet, concerts and events can be staged, a highly dynamic public and usable space which emphasises the vitality of the city and integrates the urban centre once more.