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Rue Sainte-Catherine redevelopment (completed)

What is it about?

Redevelopment of the Rue Sainte-Catherine (Sint-Katelijnestraat) to the Rue de Flandre, including the southern side of the Place Sainte-Catherine to the Rue Melsens. The street will be greened and laid out on one level.

Rue Sainte-Catherine redevelopment

© Asymetrie

What purpose?

In August 2020, the Rue Sainte-Catherine became a pedestrian zone. With the exception of deliveries to shops between 4 am and 11 am, motorized traffic is prohibited. However, the construction and configuration of the street still refers to its former status with a pavement that is not comfortable for cyclists and pedestrians, and curbs separating the road from the footpath.

With the redevelopment, the City of Brussels wants to meet two ambitions:

  • turning the street into a real pedestrian zone
  • greening the street where possible

Construction of the street

Rue Sainte-Catherine redevelopment

To this end, the street is constructed on one level. The construction principle is the same as that of the recently redeveloped and adjacent pedestrian streets such as the Rue Paul Delvaux. The central space has a width of 3.60 m including street gutter. It consists of sawn cobblestones. It is surrounded by gutters in blue stone with a width of 30 cm. The rest of the space consists of 'platines' (paving stones).

The surface water is collected in the street gutters. To reduce the discharge of that water into the sewer, some of it is collected for the trees.

The sills at the Rue Sainte-Catherine are not at the same height. In order to compensate for the existing difference in level, steps were integrated into the project at three places in the street.

There will be 15 inverted U-shaped bicycle racks in the street. The existing lighting in the street will be retained but will be installed alternately on each side.

Two tall trees are planted on either side of the entrance to the street at the Rue des Poissonniers. This creates the effect of a gate. In addition, trees along the entire length of the street are also planned to provide shade and coolness.

The stretch of road that runs along the southern side of the Place Sainte-Catherine will be built on one level with the square. The bluestone curbstone is removed and replaced by a bluestone street gutter. Just like at the Rue Sainte-Catherine, the drivable part consists of sawn cobblestones, the rest of the space consists of 'platines' (paving stones). A round bench made of natural stone is placed around the tree on the corner of the Rue Melsens.

At the height of the Place Sainte-Catherine and the Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains, the bluestone curbs will be removed. This creates a visual connection between the two squares and pedestrians are not hindered by a difference in height. The posts between the two squares will also be removed.


A total of 9 trees will be planted at the Rue Sainte-Catherine:

  • 6 x Amelanchier arborea 'Robin Hill': this tree reaches a height of 5-10 meters and has an oval, semi-open crown and white flowers in February.
  • 3 x Cornus mas: this tree reaches a height of 5-6m and has an ovoid, dense crown and yellow flowers in February.


The artwork 'Casse toi pauvre canard' by Sven 't Jolle will be placed near the the Sainte-Catherine Tower. The work was selected in consultation with the management of the Central.

In order to exhibit the work in optimal conditions and to enhance the view around the Sainte-Catherine Tower, the fences around the tower are removed and the fragmented green space is unified. Between the green space and the artwork will be a blue stone bench. The public lighting will be replaced so that both the tower and the artwork are better lit.

Artwork 'Casse toi pauvre canard' by Sven 't Jolle

Neighborhood meetings

On 17 June 2020, the City organized a first meeting with traders and residents of the Rue Sainte-Catherine. Due to the sanitary measures in force at the time, this meeting was held online. At this meeting, the first thing discussed was whether or not to make the street car-free. Based on the comments and suggestions that were made, a preliminary design was then drawn up.

Another online meeting was organized on 18 November 2020. This time, the preliminary design of the redevelopment was presented and discussed. The plans were adjusted accordingly.

Timing, procedure and works

The permit application for the redevelopment was submitted to the Region in October 2021 and was declared complete in March 2022. As part of the procedure, a public inquiry and a Consultation Committee were organised. The public enquiry was held from 20 April 2022 to 19 May 2022.

For 1 month there were red posters in the perimeter announcing the public enquiry. Everyone then had the opportunity to consult the construction file online or at the Town Planning Department of the City and to respond to the plans. 

The plans were presented to the Consultation Committee and those present could ask questions or express an objection. The Consultation Committee then issued a recommendation to which the project had to be adapted.

As with any redevelopment project, the utility companies are first given the opportunity to renew their infrastructure.

The reconstruction works will take 100 working days. The timing and phasing of the works is checked with the traders and residents.

More info:

Rue Sainte-Catherine redevelopment
© Asymetrie