Opening weekend of temporary occupation of Usquare.brussels on 27 and 28 April

8 April 2019
The monumental fresco by Jean-Luc Moerman. © sau-msi.brussels (P.Sa.)

The opening weekend of See U, the temporary occupation of Usquare.brussels, will take place on 27 and 28 April. The See U team will offer locals and Brussels residents the chance to tour the site and meet the temporary occupants who are moving in, discover the monumental fresco by Jean-Luc Moerman, who has created a work covering the entire front of one of the site’s buildings, and visit an all-day flea market on Sunday 28.

On 27 November 2018, the Urban Planning Corporation (SAU-MSI) together with the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region presented the first temporary occupants of the site of the former Fritz Toussaint barracks in Ixelles, selected for See U, the transitional phase of the Usquare.brussels project. These occupants’ projects joined the Dutch-language Lutgardis primary school and the ULB-VUB FabLab, whose activities had started at the beginning of the school/academic year 2018.

Since November, the SAU-MSI and the See U team, which is responsible for the transitional management of the entire site, have worked to enable these activities – several dozen in number – to be launched in spring 2019 as announced.

Regarding the site, the SAU-MSI has carried out conversion work to restore the buildings, and has applied for and obtained the necessary permits. No comments were submitted in the public consultation that took place from 15 February to 1 March this year, confirming the very positive reaction of local people to the project on 27 November. Likewise, the Consultation Committee, which met on 20 March, did not raise any major objection. The municipality of Ixelles therefore issued planning permission in early April.

For the local area, information sessions and meetings with neighbours have been organised by the SAU-MSI and See U in order to take account of their expectations and involve them in the process.

In terms of the project, the See U team has allocated the occupants to the available spaces, managed any issues associated with moving in, and defined the initial outlines of the site’s organisational planning... It is structured around seven themes: Sustainable, Family, Food, Gallery, Lab, Community and Playground. Housed in different buildings on the site, these themes will bring together various project promoters who will develop synergies.

See U will be the largest temporary occupation project in Belgium, and will be all about social and sustainable innovation, learning and experimentation. The idea is that this will be a friendly place that is open to the surrounding neighbourhood and offers new local amenities for its inhabitants. See U will be more than just a project: it will bring together a community. Cinema, an organic produce market, exhibitions, workshops, urban vegetable gardens...: this unique site located where Ixelles and Etterbeek meet will become a place of work and exchange for numerous non-profit organisations active in the field of sustainable development in particular.

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