SC - Charleroi Workshop

Short description: 

Workshop - Charleroi
10 – 12 MAY 2006 Charleroi - Belgium

 
LOCAL CASE: CHARLEROI - PLACE DE LA DIGUE (DIGUE SQUARE)

Charleroi is a Belgian city with a population of 212,000 approx., situated 50km to the south of the capital, Brussels. The city has an area of about 102 km2 and is located at a crossing point of the River in Hennegau province, Wallonia.

Digue Square is an historic locality in Charleroi. Since the 9th C, at the beginning of the Charnoy village, it has been at an important crossing point of the river on the Mons – Namur
route.

 
REGIONAL CASE:  CHARLEROI - THE WEST GATE

The area covered by this regional case study is called the ‘West Gate’ as it is located on the west side of the town of Charleroi and provides the western entrance when approaching from Mons.
The area is characterised by an industrial landscape with some operational industry but with significant amounts of disused, abandoned and run down industrial infrastructure.
In terms of its location this area acts as a barrier, separating the town from its green hinterland.

Start date: 
2006
Country: 
Belgium
Region: 
Walloon Region

DOWNLOAD THE FINAL REPORT:

English Final Report MILU-implementation-lab-Charleroi-9-12-may-2006 (PDF; 2,9MB)

Direct-and-Indirect-Results-Milunet-Charleroi-10-12-may-2006 (PDF; 600Kb)

 

LOCAL CASE: CHARLEROI - PLACE DE LA DIGUE (DIGUE SQUARE)

 
Digue Square is an historic locality in Charleroi. Since the 9th C, at the beginning of the Charnoy village, it has been at an important crossing point of the river on the Mons – Namur
route.

The square is located in the west of the city centre, at the edge of the city’s ring route. This part of the centre is noted as being socio-economically rather disadvantaged. The whole
area is in a fairly unkempt and run down condition with the square itself currently being occupied by a large surface level car park.

The Charleroi authorities have recently initiated the project Charleroi 2020. This project involves the residents of the greater Charleroi area, who have identified goals and formulated projects and actions that aim to enhance the city and its region.

Main questions being addressed
The main questions concern:

  • How to restore dynamism to this space while showing respect for users’ wishes and continuing to give a new breath of life to the city centre of Charleroi.
  • How the process should be structured to make it a pilot project.

What were the debates about?

  • Preoccupation with an existing proposal precluded more open discussion.
  • An inability to discuss alternative funding mechanisms that could liberate the design of public space.
  • Disagreement over the value of the existing open space.

Added value for the host

  • In some respects this is uncertain
  • The representative in Charleroi was very enthusiastic about the input. This could help in securing European funding.

Results Implementation Lab
The city needs “glue” between all separate public space projects in Charleroi.
The participants saw a great opportunity in the square to function as a pilot project to improve the image of the city and bring more public green into the city.
MILU could be a good instrument to get people back into the city and stop the pressure on the green surroundings of Charleroi.

 
REGIONAL CASE:  CHARLEROI - THE WEST GATE

The overwhelming impression is negative, one of an environmentally degraded landscape. Yet the area is interspersed with surprising elements, including the Sambre and Eau D’heure rivers, some attractive green areas including that at the parc Monceau and a number of attractive villages.

The area concerned by this project is situated at the west side of Charleroi, and covers 4 districts (7,2 km2 and 12.500 inhabitants).

One of the main goals of the project in place is to improve the environment and the social and economical conditions of the population.
The MILUnet workshop will be the opportunity to see what has ever been done for that, and what MILU can bring to go further.

The area concerned by this project is situated at the west side of Charleroi, and covers 4 districts (7,2 km2 and 12.500 inhabitants). One of the main goals of the project in place is to improve the environment and the social and economical conditions of the population. The MILUnet workshop will be the opportunity to see what has ever been done for that, and what MILU can bring to go further.

Main questions being addressed
In effect there are two key overarching questions in this case study.
The first is:

  • What should be done with this industrial area, both the active working industrial element and the underutilised, derelict brownfield areas to create a new living environment?
    • A sub-question is how can the barrier formed by this area be breached and the rural hinterland and the rivers better linked with the town?

The second is:

  • What should be the manner in which a new image and reality for this area might be created?
    • What process and institutional structures are required?

Added value for the host

  • Results are put forward to the forums of Charleroi 2020, a stakeholder operation to improve the quality of the region.

Results Implementation Lab
Based on possible scenarios for the industry in Charleroi the participants found a way to look beyond the relatively short-term visions of the current developments. They saw great opportunities in the future of Charleroi to bring cleaner industry to the West Gate area.
The metro stations are opportunities to start redeveloping centralised areas.

At the end of the press conference on the Friday, Bernard Bermils, General officer of the Municipality of Charleroi and Coordinator of Charleroi 2020, mentioned his great interest for the results of the Charleroi workshop.
He was really astonished by the perspicacity of the MILUnet participants, in such a short time, on what are the positive and negative points of Charleroi.

For him, the workshop of MILUnet is a real chance for Charleroi, because it gives another look on the actual hypothesis of development, and opens to new perspectives.
“The propositions made by the participants on Charleroi 2020 are helpful, for the propositions themselves, and for the hierarchy of the goals and themes of Charleroi 2020”.

To go further with the results of the Charleroi workshop, he would really like to communicate a summary of the results to all the forums of Charleroi 2020 (that involve all the stakeholders of the region of Chaleroi) and to the politics.

MILU - CHARLEROI 2006