The neighborhood gets a greener character by preserving the existing trees as much as possible, giving future trees all the space they need and planting different mixtures of shrubs, perennials, herbs, grasses and flowers. If all goes well, construction of the first part of the first phase (Lobroekplein, Kalverwei, Oude Kalverstraat) will start in mid-2023.
The city wants to convert the project area in Antwerp-North (slaughterhouse site – Noordschippersdok – Lobroekdok) into a mixed area of high quality for housing, services, recreation and business. An overall plan for this was approved at the end of 2017. In February 2020, a design team for the public space in the area was appointed. This includes partly the existing public space in Slachthuiswijk and partly new public space within the planned redevelopment.
Both the design of the design and the implementation of the public space will take place in stages. The preliminary design for the first two phases of the public space (the neighborhood around Kalverwei and the slaughterhouses, the Noordschippersdok zone and the Kalverpad) was approved in October 2021. The final design for the first phase has now also been approved.
AG Vespa, the autonomous municipal company for real estate and urban projects in Antwerp, coordinates the project. The redevelopment of the public space is being carried out by AG Vespa in collaboration with the private developer Urban Living Belgium, which has also started the development.
The design team for the public space is Sweco Belgium – Posad Maxwan – LOLA Landscape Architects. Billie Bonkers – Createlli in collaboration with Sportpret vzw is responsible for the participation process. Through an inclusive process, Endeavor has drawn up a plan for the play area in the district.
The design allows for the construction of approximately 39,000 m² of green public area. It is sufficient to reach the goal of 4 m² of green public area per inhabitant in the future as well. Several living and play areas have also been created because some of the above-ground parking spaces have been moved to a parking basement. An integrated accessible network of paths for pedestrians and cyclists, the so-called ‘dam route’, will connect all the different places.
The desired parking program was taken into account in the final design, where 142 parking spaces were made available. Two supporting studies on water (sustainable water management) and trees (tree test and tree inventory) have also been further developed in connection with the greening and blue-greening that is pursued in each urban development project. The first three sub-spaces (Lobroekplein, Kalverwei and Oude Kalverstraat) will be the first to be completed.
This neighborhood square as the district’s living room ‘will be an inclusive square space. There is room for a local market, a neighbor party, a flea market or a music event tailored to the neighborhood. There will be terraces for the existing and new catering companies, a play fountain and a sports field. New in the design are bicycle lanes, a robust green buffer between the square and the road and the processing of the streets that open out to the square as green residential areas.
The Kalverwei will form a landscaped neighborhood park with shady areas and a natural decor. The layout of the neighborhood park has been changed to create three open spaces that follow each other and respond to the surrounding buildings. The play and sports areas have also been reorganized as a result. In addition, Weilandstraat will be a cul-de-sac development area with parking along the buildings, so that Kalverwei will form one continuous green area. At the transition from Kalverwei to Lobroekplein, a location has been given for a permanent work of art.
The entrance to Slachthuiswijk will be a spacious main street with a green look. The bike and walking paths are separated from the roadway by a green berm. Parking is offered on the street under a double row of trees. New is the changed layout of the intersection with Slachthuislaan to a completely conflict-free intersection with an additional turn lane from the north, wider cycle paths, more spacious waiting areas for cyclists, surviving markings and facilities for an integrated accessible public area.
This green car-free space offers space for living, play and sports for all ages. In the center, there will be two larger lawns that can be given a different (temporary) interpretation as needed, eg a sports area or communal garden, for which guidelines have already been drawn up. Trees, grouped in three places on the square, give the space structure and shelter. The sports and gaming facilities have been concretized. Here is another place for a permanent work of art.
This quiet water park will have a staircase and seating along AP Folk High School’s new campus. A walking route with a play area for young children runs through the water park to the central plane tree and the existing pavilion. New in the design is, among other things, the path structure with more logical walkways and a different choice of material, so that there is as little impact as possible on the large plane tree root zone.
These streets have been developed as residential areas with more greenery along the buildings and additional meeting and living areas. The existing plane trees in these residential areas are supplemented by trees adjacent to the parking lots. New is that some of the above-ground parking spaces have been moved to an underground rotary car park. Thus, there is more living space and space for playgrounds. The design has also been adapted so that the fourth large plane tree on the Slagteriet’s grounds can be preserved. In addition, it is possible to include trees that have been felled that can be replanted after examination.
This will be a residential street with an elevated green stripe that provides space for meetings, from the current Ceulemanshofke to Lobroekplein. The adjacent Mouterijsteeg will be used as a residential area. There will be extra trees as a function of shady meeting places and an extra traffic platform as a speed-limiting measure. The existing trees will be preserved as much as possible, and the planting areas on the north side of Lange Lobroekstraat will have a seating element on the side of the footpath.