Immobel’s real estate development projects aim to stimulate social interaction, sustainable lifestyles and the local economy. There is a strong link between the use and planning of public space, the identity of a neighbourhood and the choices we make for our development: the users, amenities and services provided in the buildings and ground floor levels, the aesthetics and the architectural quality, the provision of soft mobility solutions etc.
That’s why Immobel has placed the topic of community involvement high on the agenda for its current and future developments.
Brussels pedestrian zone
This summer, work started on the development of “Brouck’R” (the island around the UGC cinema): a mixed-use project including housing, offices, a hotel, student housing, shops and amenities. Next door, the iconic Centre Monnaie building will be redeveloped into a unique, mixed-use complex called Oxy. And opposite this, by the end of the year, the Multi building will welcome users in future-proof offices and retail spaces in a CO²- neutral building.
Immobel, as a (co)developer of these 3 mixed urban projects, aspires to be a frontrunner in the reflection on public space.
The newly named Oxy building will strengthen and extend public space with rooftop amenities such as a plaza garden and a publicly accessible tower rooftop hotel lobby and restaurant.
The Multi building, with its renovated public space, will also contribute to improving the connection between the pedestrian area and the surrounding neighbourhood of Saint-Catherine.
In the midst of all these new developments lies the Place de Brouckère, the square which is destined to become the “agora” of the city, a place to meet and to host events.
The redevelopment projects are the opportunity to rethink the square with a focus on local Brussels economy, open ground floors, connections and increasing biodiversity and nature.
To demonstrate its goals with regards to the city centre, Immobel has joined forces with other private developers active in the area around Place de la Bourse and Place de Brouckère to start a common reflection and co-creation path for ground floor levels and public spaces for the benefit of the public.
The “rez-de-ville” project will look into the desired relationship between ground floor levels and public spaces and the relationship between ground floors and the (future) inhabitants above. The goal is to develop a vision and implement concrete solutions for a city centre with proximity services, by giving opportunities to local, emerging activities and by giving the area a distinctive, local identity that cannot be found elsewhere.
This local neighbourhood life, with proximity services that allow inhabitants to have a sense of belonging to their neighbourhood, will need to be harmonised with increased tourism and a trend towards a global, uniform retail offer.
Planning our ground floors will help to find the balance between the economic and habitability objectives of the pedestrianised city centre; a necessary balance between a purely consumption-based approach versus ground floors that thrive a more local, circular, participative economy and public spaces where various users can come together leading to stronger bonds and communities.