Architecture Workroom

Atelier Zennevallei

The Southern Zennevallei is a region where historical industrial buildings and growing innovative companies alternate in a fertile and green residential area along the Zenne and the canal. For decades, the strategic location, local entrepreneurship and multi-modal connections of these urban outskirts have provided opportunities for companies and residents. The solid infrastructure bundles have, however, fragmented the space, making living, working and nature increasingly more fragmentary of a mosaic landscape. A rapidly increasing number of trucks have not only put pressure on the road network, but many industrial zones also urgently need to be refreshed or renewed. Industrial activities are increasingly seen as a nuisance, given that people usually don't live where they work. On the other hand, demand for housing is also rising and companies are under pressure from globalization and automation. There is not enough space to develop everything at the same time, side by side.

Tim van de Velde, Metropolitan Landscapes, 2015

There is a need for a new binding plan. Good water and rail accessibility can alleviate the roads, thus providing a more sustainable alternative with new, smart and shared logistics systems. And for residents and employees, more collective transport nodes and cycling highways are a necessary alternative. Homes, factories and recreational space are thereby linked to the smart and compact use of space. The Zennevallei can be the epitome of a circular and innovative economy, just a stone's throw from the capital of Europe.

The Strategic Project Zuidelijke Zennevallei builds on this productive framework and brings together the different tracks by working simultaneously on mobility and economics, but also on water, nature and living. The lessons from the IABR-Atelier Brussel Productive Metropolis are provided by the resumption of the exhibition of 'A Good City has Industry'. Even during the exhibition, work on the area's future continues around Atelier Zennevallei's work desk, together with various actors, citizens and experts. Together they are building a productive Zennevallei, where living and working is good.

The partners of Atelier Zennevallei are: Provincie Vlaams Brabant, Strategische Project Zuidelijke Zennevallei, Regionaal landschap Pajottenland Zenne, Stad Halle, Gemeente Beersel, Gemeente Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Gemeente Drogenbos, Departement Omgeving, OVAM, Architecture Workroom Brussels, IABR and FeliXart Museum.