The Urban Development Corporation (SAU-MSI) has purchased and cleaned up the 24-hectare site of the former Josaphat marshalling yard, on which it is developing plans for a diverse and sustainable neighbourhood based on the theme of ‘Living and working in a park’.
- The SAU-MSI (at that time SAF-MVV) purchased the 24-hectare site from the Railway Infrastructure Fund (FIF-FSI); it consisted of an area of wasteland and an industrial zone, bounded by Boulevard Leopold III, Avenue Gilisquet and Boulevard Wahis, on a future RER line.
- The land formerly belonging to the railway has been cleaned up.
- The entire site was the subject of a wide-ranging consultation process bringing together regional and municipal stakeholders. This led to the formulation of a master plan, approved by the government of the Brussels-Capital Region in March 2014. This plan has since been the subject of numerous technical studies, coordinated by the SAU-MSI, to refine, validate and improve the first options. An environmental impact report has also been produced, to ensure that the new district is integrated seamlessly into its environment.
- The options being developed at this stage are as follows: linking the site to the surrounding neighbourhoods, and developing it while retaining its character as a green lung with an uninterrupted green space of almost 4 hectares; creating about 1,600 dwellings (45% public housing and 55% private housing, mostly at entry-level prices) while ensuring social diversity and quality of housing; introducing the necessary facilities (school, childcare facilities, sport, culture, leisure); and equipping, modernising and redefining the industrial zone. In particular, the SAU-MSI has carried out a landscape study of the site, which sets out the main principles for the development of the public spaces and green spaces, as well as a mobility study to improve traffic conditions on the existing roads as the new district is constructed.
- The various reflections are being finalised, so that the plans, detailed and configured in the form of a master plan, can be submitted to the government for approval. Together with an environmental impact report, the master plan will be immediately submitted to public inquiry. After the various official bodies have been consulted, the regional government will be able to adopt the master plan, putting this new regulatory tool into immediate effect.
- In order to take advantage of the periods during which the procedures for strategic and regulatory planning approval are in progress, the SAU-MSI will prepare for work on the site, acting at two levels. First, it will coordinate all the preparatory operations carried out by the many different public bodies relating to the introduction of utilities, the creation of green spaces and the construction of facilities. Second, it will initiate a contract award procedure for the gradual implementation of a first phase of development consisting of around 650 public and private dwellings in the south of the site.
- Once the final go-ahead has been given, the SAU-MSI will implement the site’s development, operating at two levels. First, it will coordinate all the development operations undertaken by the many different public bodies relating to the introduction of utilities, the development of green spaces and the construction of facilities and public housing. Second, it will conduct the marketing operations relating to those parts of the site whose development will be entrusted to private operators.