On 27th April, the City of Brussels organised a final public hearing concerning their proposed new school and housing project on rue des Horticulteurs.
This project, which foresees a French speaking school of about 700 pupils (nursery and primary) and about 70 social housings, has been controversial since its beginning. The APEEE already participated at the first public hearing which took place in March 2015 and has been following this since. Opposition from local residents has been strong since the beginning and many amendments have been submitted to the City to demonstrate that the project was not viable and realistic in their view. All interested parties were invited to express their concerns and to enter in to dialogue with the City. At this meeting the City was represented by its échevin de l’urbanisme, their architects, their lawyer as well as the consultants who presented the feasibility and mobility studies.
The main concern for the APEEE has been the possible impact that this project might have on our School’s functioning. One question, for example, is how he traffic increase could impact on mobility in this area, especially on the Drève Ste-Anne.
The mobility study, established at the request by the City, did not indicate a severe impact on mobility, or at least not one that could result in a dramatic increase of vehicles during the major arrival and departure times of our school. The same applies for the parking situation around our school. The City had also already foreseen a change of traffic circulation in the rue des Horticulteurs, that would deviate the main traffic flow towards Boulevard Bockstael. Though many local residents questioned these mobility studies, none of the arguments or numbers they put forward to contradict the City’s studies, were any more conclusive that the City’s own calculations. The question as to the real impact on mobility is still open.
The APEEE has introduced a formal request to the City to highlight the mobility aspect, and whilst at this stage it seems that our school will not suffer from any major impact resulting from the realisation of this new project, we will continue to monitor it closely. In the meantime, the Region of Brussels, who will ultimately decide on this project, is evaluating the project. We will of course inform you of the outcome. Contact the HEalth and Safety Working group: firstname.lastname@example.org