The area of the Canal in the Brussels Capital Region is undergoing an ambitious process of urban (re)development: the ‘Canal Plan’, a global vision for the whole Canal Area aiming to create functional diversity, density and qualitative public spaces to tackle socio-cultural and environmental problems and to achieve urban quality. ORG URBANISM, together with Bureau Bas Smets (TV ORG-BBS) complemented the Canal Plan with a specific tool to ensure the quality, the coherence and the identity of open and public spaces along the 14 km of the Canal: a Beeldkwaliteitsplan. Developed through research by design and an intensive collaborative process with the regional and local actors as well as stakeholders, the Beeldkwaliteitsplan defines the Regions ambitions for its public and open spaces. Through a set of recommendations, guidelines, typical plans, sections and detailed drawings, the Beeldkwaliteitsplan serves now as a handbook for future projects. The Brussels Government approved this plan which, even if not legally binding, can now be applied by public or private institutions developing open and/or public spaces in the Canal Area. The Beeldkwaliteitsplan is structured in two main parts. The first part — the continuities — gives thematic ambitions and recommendations at the scale of the canal area and guarantees global coherence and identity of the canal zone. It provides the Region with a set of design rules, type-solutions and elements that defines a common, specific and recognizable language for three thematic continuities of the area: the waterway itself, the network of public spaces and the landscape. The second part – the zones  –  details for each of the nine districts of the canal zone site-specific ambitions and recommendations. A specific service center, for which ORG-BBS is the service provider, was set up by to allow every stakeholder, private or public, to rely on our expertise for the design of public or open space projects in the area during the timeframe of the Canal Plan (>2025).

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels Region,

2018 — 2019



public, landscape, infrastructure

Marcel Smets, Yannick Vanhaelen, Alexander D’Hooghe, Heinrich Altenmueller, Nitay Lehrer, Milda Paceviciute

Bureau Bas Smets, Aries Consultants, Bollinger + Grohmann, Atelier voor Ruimtelijk Advies, MINT, Common Ground, Antwerp (B), Palais des Beaux-Arts, Michiel De Cleene

Kinsuka Garden of Knowledge

Decentralized Seamless Mobility