Greening Brussels

We tend to believe that inner cities have lost the fight against traffic jams and climate change. However, the number of projects that stem the tide is growing and some have gained visibility beyond their immediate neighborhood. This is the case of an urban planning project in Brussels that has taken back space from urban traffic to the citizens living there. Planting new trees and a gardening space reserved for flowers changed the street into a pleasant environment where people meet and greet again rather than hold their breath and disappear as quickly as possible. Parking of cars has been reduced on the street and instead bicycle parking has become a hint towards more sustainable mobility in inner cities. Walking the city, staying and shopping nearby will allow behavioral change for healthier lifestyles. It needs a lot of persuasion to accomplish this impact and years of reaching majorities for such projects and the ability to raise sufficient resources to implement them. The additional challenge is the need to take care of the green spaces that only works with the support of neighborhoods assisting in the care and protection of the urban lungs. As the awareness to act against inner city heat and pollution increases the number of persons willing to act and devote resources as well as time for such projects increases as well. It is a long way to improve inner city health again, but these signs of exemplary projects will convince many other people that urban renewal can work to the benefit of people.