Kortrijk attaches great importance to improving the quality of life in the city. Softening and greening of the Groeningelaan parking lot is one of the many initiatives. Work to turn the parking lot into a park started on December 1. Groeningeparken will have benches, play functions and covered bicycle sheds.
Last year, the design team Bureau Cnockaert and landscape architect Katinka ‘T Kindt worked on the design of Groeninge Park. They involved the wider neighborhood for this. They experimented with temporary positions, launched a discussion plan and organized an information session. The final design provides a nature island, meeting place, zone for herbs and a play zone for young Kortrijk residents. In this way, there is more space for greenery, peace and meeting. The design provides benches, play functions and covered bicycle sheds. By choosing less traffic, more greenery, safer cycling and more biodiversity, the quality of life in the city increases.
The project ‘Ontharden parking Groeningelaan’ is part of the subsidy program ‘Flanders breaks out’ from the Ministry of the Environment. The cost of the project is EUR 1,230,000, of which EUR 250,000 is subsidized. The Environment Department selected a total of 45 living laboratories from two calls for projects. These projects are a first step towards softening Flanders and are spread throughout the territory. More information about the other living laboratories can be found at https://milieu.vlaanderen.be/nl/realisaties.
On Thursday 1 December, contractor Growebo will start the construction of Groeningeparken. In a first phase, the car park and the carriageway between the car park and the housing offer are next. After that, Groeningelaan and the intersection of Groeningelaan and Leeuw van Vlaanderenlaan will be reconstructed:
- 1 December 2022: start of work phase I (from parking to park)
- Spring 2023: start of work phase II (reconstruction of Groeningelaan between Veemarkt and Leeuw van Vlaanderenlaan + reconstruction of the intersection Groeningelaan/Leeuw van Vlaanderenlaan)
- Summer 2023: inauguration of Groeninge Park
In the first phase, traffic disruptions will be limited. During this phase, the road between the care center and the car park is not accessible. The roadway acts as a specific destination road for the care center. During the work, we will ensure that the care center is accessible to the emergency services at all times.
With the construction of Groeningeparken, 19 of the currently 40 parking spaces remain above ground. You can park nearby in the Veemarkt underground car park, which has 575 spaces and an overcapacity of 250 spaces. Parking Veemarkt has been open again since 25 November.
Due to budgetary challenges and large price increases, a number of elements were omitted from the design. The most drastic adjustment to the plan is not to place the canopy in the center of the park. This canopy will be replaced by a green zone. Bicycle parking is available in the neighbourhood. This will be Parko’s standard model.
Axel Weydts, councilor for mobility and public works: “Parking becomes a park. What until yesterday was an ugly gray spot will soon become a new green meeting place in the city. The design has been developed in consultation with the neighbourhood. Residents, entrepreneurs, schools and housing facilities contributed constructively to this. We would like to thank them for that. We are also using these works to safely design the current dangerous intersection with Leeuw van Vlaanderenlaan.”
Bert Herrewyn, councilor for environment, climate, biodiversity, children and young people: “Groeningeparken gives the city extra oxygen and nature. The softening also makes our city more climate-robust with more space for water. Finally, our children get what they deserve: extra space to play.”
Wout Maddens, councilor for construction, housing and urban renewal: “The public parks are the gardens for all Kortrijk residents and visitors to our city. It is one of the many spaces that we want to soften and green our city center in the coming years . The new Groeningepark will create the connection with the green axis Groeningekouter – Plein – Houtmarkt – Begijnhofpark. We are also planning an expansion of the existing park in the Begijnhofpark. We are increasing the quality of life and working on connected neighborhoods.”