Avenue de Stalingrad redevelopment
What is it about?
The Avenue de Stalingrad (Stalingradlaan) redevelopment project is part of the major challenges of the dynamics of the Midi quarter and the Pentagon city centre, which also includes metro 3, currently under construction under the Avenue de Stalingrad.
The Avenue de Stalingrad is located on the territory of the City of Brussels, within the Pentagon. It is an important North-South connection to the city centre because it is a real link between the Gare du Midi and the historic centre (including the Grand-Place, the Ilôt Sacré,...). The continuity of the Avenue de Stalingrad is the Rue du Midi which leads directly into the historic centre.
Initially heavily used by motorists, the Avenue de Stalingrad has been redesigned to be an attractive and lively place for residents and any other user of the public space (walkers, children, tourists, cyclists, shopkeepers). It is therefore a real gateway that will be reconstructed.
The City of Brussels submitted a town planning permit at the beginning of 2022 for the Avenue de Stalingrad between the Place Rouppe and the small ring road, the latter are not included.
STIB metro 3 works
Since 2020, the first phase for the construction of metro line 3 has been underway. The vast majority of works related to the construction of the new Toots Thielemans station and the creation of new metro tunnel sections to connect to the existing pre-metro tunnels, takes place on the Avenue de Stalingrad. This has an impact on the daily lives of traders and local residents. More info:
- Active mobility by following the objectives and planning principles of the Good Move regional mobility plan
- Reinforce the attractiveness of the Avenue de Stalingrad and accentuate its role of entry into the Pentagon from the Gare du Midi, the gateway
- Increase landscape quality by recreating a regular alignment of tall trees and increase biodiversity by creating planted areas in several layers
- Strengthen the mix of uses by reconciling commercial activities with the other uses and functions of the avenue
The inhabitants of Brussels can expect an avenue completely on one level with spaces to sit.
- In the centre of the avenue will be the only road accessible to motorists. The space that will have been recovered will be given back to biodiversity, businesses and active transport.
- A bike path is planned to ensure the fluidity of cycling. The entire development has been designed for a mix of uses such as commerce, walking, mobility,...
- To do this, on a 14m sidewalk, the terraces will be installed in two parts, for a total surface area of 5m2.
- The avenue will also be punctuated by two central points: a forecourt in front of the Palais du Midi, highlighting its remarkable facades with benches and a water fountain, and a small square at the future Toots Thielemans metro station, where the Pasionaria artwork will be.
- Like its historical typology, the Avenue de Stalingrad will retain the regular appearance of a 19th century boulevard. The four existing tree alignments are restored in order to keep this structure. All this while increasing the landscape quality with the replanting of 70 tall trees (for a total of 104 trees) as well as the planting of 168 shrubs and bushes, including multi-stems and low shrub vegetation. It is also necessary to underline the increase in biodiversity, which brings many advantages in a dense urban environment (capture of water, attraction of pollinators, presence of fruit species, reduction of parasites, variations in aesthetics,...).
For surfacing materials, the central roadway is made of asphalt and concrete curbs. Some parts of the roadway on the avenue are in bush-hammered blue stone.
Thus, the section between the Boulevard du Midi and the Rue Sallaert and the section in front of the Palais du Midi are entirely in blue stone (except for the cycle paths and the planting pits). The pedestrian areas, along the facades and between the two outdoor rows of trees (promenade area) are in bush-hammered bluestone bricks. Two ocher asphalt cycle lanes run along the avenue on either side within the promenade area.
With regard to the management of runoff water, the project provides for the creation of large permeable areas, as well as the planting of many plants, thus absorbing the water before it reaches the sewers and then the canal.
The redevelopment of the Avenue de Stalingrad was done in consultation with local residents. A citizen panel called 'Future Stalingrad' was set up in October 2020. Several meetings took place until January 2021. An online survey was also carried out in order to collect further feedback and resulted in the request for a town planning permit.
The panel was made up of very diverse profiles. Its purpose was to get to know each other and to clarify the mission of the panel, namely: to advise the City on the needs of the district by issuing opinions and recommendations and to define the framework for the redevelopment of the quarter. The members of the panel defined the main 'guidelines' of the redevelopment that would fuel future discussions, namely:
- wide pavements
- revegetation of the neighborhood
- separate bike path
- mobility: access to the neighborhood and reduced traffic area
- more road safety and security
- a clean street
- a sufficient number of parking spaces and delivery areas
Several meetings were held until January 2021 in order to combine the different interests in the project. An online survey was also carried out in order to collect further feedback and resulted in the application for a town planning permit, which has now been filed.