Walks - DEMOLITION AND CONSTRUCTION IN THE QUARTIER NORD
Quartier Nord and Schaerbeek
In 1835, continental Europe’s very first train left for Mechelen from the Gare de Bruxelles-Allée Verte. Freight and passenger transport shaped the further development of the Quartier Nord. Along ‘de Kassei’ (Chaussée d’Anvers) a lively, mixed neighbourhood with homes, factories, cinemas and cafés developed. These were swept aside by the progressive outlook of the Golden Sixties and the office towers of the Manhattan Plan.
Is the Quartier Nord really a local community, as the name implies? There is no centre and the public space is unwelcoming. And what will replace the condemned WTC towers?
The contrast with the Brabant district on the east side of the Gare du Nord is enormous. Its vibrant commercial street is frequented by Brussels residents from all over the world; meanwhile, sex workers wait for customers in the display windows of the surrounding streets…
This walk reveals the contrasts of the Quartier Nord, past and future. Because here too, neighbourhood renewal, urban agriculture, green and blue corridors for more biodiversity and energy districts are gathering pace.
If you have less than the usual 3.5 hours, you can choose either the Quartier Nord or the Rue de Brabant/Rue d’Aerschot area. However, you will then miss out on the striking contrasts of the full itinerary.
We took a closer look at the Quartier Nord in our Image Bank project (2021).