Festival Kanal Play Ground
How do we create more and better public space for young people in the city? Brussels’ Canal Zone is one of the most densely built-up urban areas in Western Europe. It includes the neighbourhoods where many newcomers to the city first live. It is a place where population growth goes hand in hand with high levels of youth poverty and unemployment. It is precisely in this area that living conditions are distressingly poor, and there is a desperate shortage of collective space such as parks or squares, and open or covered spaces in which to play, relax and meet up with other people. Spaces that allow the city to breathe, but also spaces for skill development, community building and enterprise.
Debate Atelier de stad in the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) the 22th of October (20:00) more info
Festival Kanal Play Ground is sowing the seeds of change in this area. In close collaboration with young people, citizens and organisations, there has been a collective investigation into how we can adjust the urban space to enable it to support the future of these neighbourhoods, which are the youngest in Belgium. In 2013, there was an appeal for artistic and architectural proposals, installations and provocations. Ten of the proposed interventions that came out of this were actually implemented, and these create extra space where today we have none. They encourage the unexpected use of unknown or under-used sites, and enable us to look from a fresh perspective at the city in the throes of transformation. During Festival Kanal Play Ground, these new spaces are activated and accentuated by artistic installations and performances, and appropriated by the city at play.
The festival temporarily takes over Akenkaai, near former post office (De Post) printing works, and the site that has been prepared for the new tram bridge that will connect North Station with the Heysel stadium. The large brownfield sites and old industrial buildings on both sides of this section of the canal are currently undergoing a complete transformation. A vibrant new part of the city is being created here. Buildings are springing up like mushrooms, including the Up-site residential tower and the Brussel Leefmilieu offices. There are numerous plans on the drawing boards of developers, architects and urban planners.
17 september 2014 19h debate 'Young Cities, From Crisis to Opportunity'
19 september 2014 19h Lecture Mark Brearley 'Manufacturing Comes to Town'