Exploring the possibilities of the Marais Wiels, a natural lake emerging during construction at a brownfield site in the Forest district in Brussels, near the heart of the city, creating a unique, gradually developing ecosystem. 

Levente Polyak, Eutropian’s expert specialised on urban regeneration, cultural development, community participation, and local resilience gave a talk to participants at the International Urban Design Workshop by Welcomin – Community Welfare Mixed Infrastructures and Brussels Centre for Urban Studies  on 20-24 March 2023.

Drawing on experiences from Rome’s “accidental lake” and urban activism catalyst Lago Bullicante, the main questions and themes explored in the session were:

  • How to secure a natural urban area for community use?
  • What governance and financial models can we use to support community welfare infrastructures?
  • How to take into account the opinions of the many stakeholders involved in the development of this area from municipal l authorities, owners of existing sites, residents, cultural organisations, associations?

The workshop was held at Communa’s Maxima project. Maxima is a large hub supporting neighbourhood dynamics. It offers affordable space for collective accommodation for women in precarious situations, as well as sports, social and culinary activities, artists’ and craftsmen ‘s workshops. 

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