Homans launches six urban renewal projects

Summary

Flanders’ urban policy minister has set aside €60,000 each for six Flemish towns and cities to draw up plans for innovative urban projects, including cutting motorway noise and transforming abandoned spaces

Promoting innovation

Flemish minister of urban policy Liesbeth Homans has set aside €360,000 to finance six urban development projects in Aalst, Antwerp, Genk, Ghent, Lokeren and Ostend. Each town is to receive €60,000 to draw up plans for “innovative and ambitious” city projects.

Aalst will use the money to develop ideas for converting an abandoned police barracks into a creative hub for small businesses and cultural organisations. Ostend plans to use its budget to work on a strategy to cut noise from the A10 by converting the motorway route into an avenue.

The port of Antwerp will use the grant to look into ways of converting the old railway marshalling yard Spoor Oost into a site for the annual Sinksenfoor fair (pictured), which was forced to move from the Zuid district because of complaints about noise. The site would also be redeveloped as a city park as well as a car park.

The former mining town of Genk plans to look into the possibility of developing an old mining railway as an axis that would bring together scattered urban districts, including the Ford factory site, which will close at the end of the year.

Ghent wants to bring together interest groups to improve the Muide-Meulestede district for residents, while Lokeren wants to involve residents, shopkeepers and commuters in a project to upgrade the neighbourhood around the station.

Flanders’ urban policy minister has set aside €60,000 each for six Flemish towns and cities to draw up plans for innovative urban projects, including cutting motorway noise and transforming abandoned spaces.

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Government of Flanders

Belgium is a federal state with several regional governments. The northern, Dutch-speaking region of Flanders is governed by the Flemish government, which was created when the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community joined forces in 1980. A minister-president presides over the government of Flanders, and Brussels is the capital city.
Competences - The government of Flanders is responsible for the economy, foreign trade, health care, energy, housing, agriculture, environmental concerns, public works and transport, employment policy, culture, education and science and innovation. Flanders also has the power to sign international treaties in these competencies.
Sole legislator - The powers of the Flemish government and of the federal government do not overlap. Therefore, only one government serves as legislator for each policy area. Flemish laws are called decrees. Decrees apply in co-ordination with federal laws.
Official holiday - 11 July is the official holiday of the Flemish Community, in commemoration of the Battle of the Golden Spurs in Kortrijk on 11 July 1302, when Flemings defeated the army of the French king. Flanders’ official anthem is “De Vlaamse Leeuw” (The Flemish Lion).
6

million people live in the Flemish Region.

5

provinces constitute the Flemish Region: West Flanders, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Antwerp and Limburg.

5

number of years for which the Flemish Parliament is elected. Its elections coincide with those of the European Parliament.