This framework agreement concerns the design and implementation of a complex urban and landscape project. Long-term supervision is to ensure the consistency of implementation and the most seamless succession of the various phases — design, land management, soil remediation, transitional management, temporary use, design of public spaces, GDP or subdivision permits, impact assessments, etc. It concerns the start of the transformation of a 13-hectare derelict railway site into a new mixed-use district (facilities, housing, public park, offices, commercial).
How do you create an urban space on a site that functioned as an island in the city for decades? Is it enough to open the gate and salvage remnants of the past as a kind of patina? Or should we rather "strip" the site and preserve only what is truly valuable? And then for whom is this valuable?
From the perspective of the urban landscape, the area is still a break in the urban fabric today. However, the initiative of a master plan for the West Station could provide the momentum to overcome this physical break. The new park and a connection across the tracks can restore the open space connection that the valley of Paruck and Molenbeek once formed: a stepping stone in the metropolitan landscape of open spaces.
The GO WEST team is convinced that the park will be at the heart of future developments, not only as a physical but also as a social and cultural space. The park is the recruiting element for the developments and is also the inspiration for a wide field of actors to stay on board in a long-term and complex development process. The main question is how to link the story & ambitions to concrete actions. We want to open the park to the public step by step and create the park on site, together with actors and residents, from the first day on the site itself.
The design is not aimed at a future-proof end state, but at a permanent temporality, constantly evolving. Crucial to creating a sustainable urban district and a vibrant park is transitional management. In this, temporary interventions contribute to long-term development. By formulating clear goals for each phase, each contribution can add quality and thus boost the accessibility and revaluation of the area.