Mechelen is once again a city by the water. In recent years, seven canals have been reopened in the inner city, illustrating a renewed appreciation for the river. Also the Binnendijle at Zandpoortvest has been made visible in the cityscape after being covered for over 40 years. The site was previously a large parking area squeezed between the city ring, the railway and two buildings of the Thomas More college. This formally underutilized plot has now been transformed into one of the most popular meeting places in the city centre.
The concrete surface makes way for green, open and gently sloping river banks. The renewed Zandpoortvest and the reopened Dijle path now create a green link between the Botanical Garden and the Mechels Broek nature reserve. The wooden jetty offers new opportunities for tourist boats and recreational use of the water. Shortly after the official opening, the students of the Thomas More college are clearly enjoying this new public space. Thanks to the new jetty on the water, visitors to the city of Mechelen can travel to the centre by boat, which will boost tourism. Cyclists along the Dijle path spontaneously stop to relax on the steps of this new public space, looking out over a new piece of urban nature.
Authors: OMGEVING - landscape architect
Photo Credit: Yanick Milpas