Photo of the week: The grass is greener


Grass and other vegetation is growing between Grote Markt’s cobblestones, as people disappear

Nature is ‘flexible’

It was Bruno De Lille, formerly state secretary of mobility in Brussels, who brought everyone’s attention to it with a couple of photos on Twitter: Grass is growing like crazy between the cobblestones on Grote Markt.

People walking all over Grote Markt normally act as a kind of biological lawn mower, keeping grass and other vegetation at bay, both between the cobblestones and at the edges of the square, against the buildings. Now that there are no tourists – and few locals – taking to the famous square, plants are sprouting up all over.

“The seeds are getting the chance to germinate, which they normally can’t because of how many people are in the square and also the street cleaners, which come through here twice a day,” Olivier Beck of environmental agency Leefmilieu Brussel told VRT. “Nature is an extremely flexible system. When people take a step back, then nature takes a step forward.”

While it is expected that the situation will return to normal once people take to the square again, Beck hopes that a little of the green will have taken hold. “Before Brussels existed, this was marshland. It’s because of urban development that it all disappeared. And now we are making efforts to bring a bit of nature back into the city to make it more liveable.”

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©Bruno De Lille