Brussels Mobility has just applied for an urban development permit for an ambitious project that aims to transform the 'highway' space into a multimodal and green space for the benefit of all road users as well as local residents.

The Parkway 21 project concerns the restructuring of the R21 in Laken/Neder-over-Heembeek by converting the A12 motorway into a city boulevard. The project covers the 3 km between the regional border and the canal near Van Praet. The ambition is to integrate this important traffic axis into the urban environment, to improve the quality of life for local residents and to encourage soft mobility. This project therefore fits perfectly into the philosophy of the new regional mobility plan GoodMove.

"We are starting with the reconstruction of the approach roads in Brussels. We are transforming motorways into intermodal city boulevards: easy and accessible for all modes, greener and more liveable for all residents. The A12 thus becomes a green, smooth and liveable gateway for everyone."

Elke Van den Brandt, Minister of Mobility and Public Works.

“This fits in with the '10-minute city', a project in which we provide collective facilities such as schools, nurseries, public transport, cultural centers, sports halls, etc. in every neighbourhood. The aim here is to offer families more space to relax. Thanks to the reorganization of the roads, the green spaces are much more accessible for residents and at the same time the nuisance caused by car traffic is reduced.”

Brussels mayor Philippe Close.

The road is being adapted and will make way for a mixed space that runs along the residential areas of Neder-Over-Heembeek and connects the parks of Laeken into an almost uninterrupted green space.

The advantages of the project:

  • creation of interconnected green areas accessible to the public (previously, the spaces between the two directions of travel were lost because they were inaccessible and fragmented),
  • construction of a complete bicycle highway (connection to the bicycle RER) thanks to a bridge at the roundabout and a bicycle route on a continuous green axis,
  • maintaining car accessibility and traffic flow with less noise pollution thanks to the new layout (lower speed, removal of traffic lights),
  • optimal connection to the future tram line to Neder-over-Heembeek, stops accessible for less mobile people.

"In figures, this is more than 14 hectares that are directly reclaimed by converting them into a green space extending over 3 kilometers and very well served by public transport. With a view to a more urban layout, the number of lanes are limited and road traffic will still run more smoothly."

Hugues Convent, project leader within Brussels Mobility.

This project is of course coordinated and therefore complements the STIB project for the future tram line 10 in Neder-over-Heembeek, about which the public inquiry will start shortly.

Next steps

Urban Brussels will now thoroughly analyze the application for the urban development permit. After that, the dates of the public inquiry and the consultation committee are determined. After this, Urban will formulate an advice and impose any conditions that the project must meet.

Photo above and below: Image bank Brussels Mobility.

Read also: Brussels government approves new regional taxi plan under pressure

The end of the A12 in sight due to ambitious project.
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