The courthouse hillside becomes a pedestrian promenade
As from March 1st 2021 the slope at the courthouse will be made car-free. The entrance between Place Poelaert and Rue Minimes will remain accessible only to pedestrians and cyclists. On the initiative of Ans Persoons, Brussels Deputy for Urban Development, a call for projects is also being launched for the (temporary) redevelopment of the promenade.
Ans Persoons, Deputy Mayor for Public Space and Urban Development:
During the lockdown, it became clear that the Marolles a neighbourhood is where the residents yearn for more qualitative public space. We would like to give them back the hillsides to walk, play, meet friends or sit on a bench. By no longer allowing illegal parking, this exceptional heritage will be restored to its former glory.
The slopes are part of the courthouse, property of the Federal State and are managed by the Buildings Agency. The hill is public, which means that they must remain accessible to everyone. The car park is illegal and a safety risk. In case of fire, fast intervention by the fire brigade through accessible ramps is crucial. This is not always guaranteed because of the illegal parking.
Brussels Deputy Mayor for Urban Development Ans Persoons went looking for a solution and started discussions with the Public Buildings Administration, the Brussels Bar Association and the FPS Justice. The last two are the main users of the private car park. Given the presence of a public car park with 500 spaces under Place Poelaert, the City insisted on making the hill car-free. This is in place as of March 1, 2021. Signs have been placed on the site to announce this.
The City, together with the Public Buildings Administration, Quartiers des Arts asbl and the Poelaert Foundation, is now examining how the whole area of the hill can be made greener and what urban furniture (benches, lighting, etc.) is needed to make the area an even more pleasant public space. The slopes are an important connection between the upper and lower city and have a huge potential to evolve into a pleasant, green promenade, in the shadow of our beautiful courthouse. The residents of the Marolles will be closely involved in this process.
With regards to parking facilities for the surrounding residents and businesses, the City not only points to the presence of the underground Poelaert car park, but also to the existence of the P-Card that allows you to use the services of Interparking at a reduced rate.
In anticipation of a definitive project, the City of Brussels, together with the residents and associations, will think about temporary fill-ins to ensure that the hills are brought to life this summer.