tools & ressources
Tools and resources that help you to walk better in Brussels
There are a number of tools and resources available that can be used to strengthen and implement pedestrian-friendly policy in the Brussels-Capital Region. Whether it is books, vademecums, good practices, preferred approaches, techniques to be tested, measures or legislation on which to base oneself, or services to be called upon, there are tools for every situation.
Fix My Street
Report incidents in the Brussels' public spaces and help improve the city. Report and enter the address of damaged pavements, blocked drains, broken urban furniture, illegal dumping, overgrown vegetation, lighting defects or other nuisance dumping. This way, you can help improve pedestrian routes and, more generally, the quality of life in your city.
List of mobility advisors
Mobility advisors are mobility specialists within their institution (administration, local authority, company, association, political cabinet) who are responsible for mediating between the many mobility stakeholders. They also monitor mobility projects from conception to completion, identify travel issues and propose solutions and simplifying communication with the general public. To find out who is your local mobility advisor, click on this button:
“Beyond the Pentagon”
Walking at the heart of public spaces: Brussels’ pedestrian zone
Over 4 years, the Brussels Centre Observatory (BCO) established a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary knowledge exchange platform for Brussels' city centre. The creation of the pedestrian zone has been a dream come true, as well as a source of controversy and opposition. This paradigm shift in terms of mobility and urban planning has brought to light many issues related to various dynamics, practices and visions that the BCO explored. The book presents the work done over those 4 years and identifies ways to decompartmentalise public policies.
Is the pedestrian zone for pedestrians only or is it a shared space? Is it dominated by shops? Is it an ideal space for creating social links? Is it a place of "Disneyfication" or a public space that really meets the needs of the inhabitants?
The discussion took place at a BCO round table event: https://vimeo.com/498378846
a pedestrian-friendly city
This guide offers technical support to all actors engaged in improving pedestrian infrastructure and promoting walking in Brussels to create "walkable" neighbourhoods: traffic control, fine-mesh networks, desire paths, access routes to public transport, school paths, pedestrian streets and squares...
Haren's soft mobility network
gets an upgrade
“Haren has a very dense and ancient network of paths and tracks. Together, these connections represent a total network of about 10km. In recent years, however, many paths and tracks have disappeared. Some of them have been incorporated into infrastructure projects, others into housing developments and some have been lost due to lack of use over the past thirty years.”
Consulting firm Artgineering and non-profit Trage Wegen, commissioned by the City of Brussels, have drafted a vade mecum which compiles not just an inventory of the commune's paths, but also the approaches and techniques for upgrading them according to their scale, which ranges from regional to local and supralocal.
Refurbishments of the paths and tracks and their signposting are already visible. These include the updating and digitising of Haren's atlas of local paths, making them visible by naming them and putting up signs.
The objective? “To preserve and complete the existing network of paths in order to promote soft mobility while safeguarding the rural character of this part of the region”
The pedestrian network is interlinked and includes shortcuts between the various centres of the neighbourhood (stations, shops and facilities), but also offers places that are ideal for a stroll and discovering the area.
List of examples of pedestrian-friendly public spaces
In its library and referencing work, Infopunt Publieke Ruimte aims to highlight good practices and examples of public spaces on a human scale, which invite people to walk, are conducive to encounters and trigger social, economic and ecological development. The association advocates quality public spaces that go beyond the simple (re)designing of a street or square by adding a bench or a tree. This requires an analysis of pedestrians' behaviour, their interactions with the physical environment and the different ways in which they use public spaces.
The library, which can be consulted online, free of charge, is aimed at policy makers, planners, professionals and anyone who wants to put pedestrians at the centre of the design of public spaces. Publications are primarily in Dutch.
Exploratory walk with Garance,
a participatory reference tool
for land-use planning
Many of us have experienced a feeling of insecurity when walking. When we dig a little deeper, we notice that this feeling more often affects women. Non-profit organisation Garance organises exploratory walks, in small groups, to observe their feelings, emotions and impressions and get women's opinions on the public spaces they know. What do we hear? What do we feel? Is it pleasant to walk here? Would you feel uncomfortable waiting for someone here? How far can you see? What makes you feel at home? The aim is to be able to recognise the facilities (or lack thereof) that could be responsible for the unpleasant sensations that sometimes lead us to avoid certain places and adapt our journeys through public spaces. Several findings are included in the report. It's a method that leads to proposals, ideas and recommendations.
The international Charter for Walking
The International Charter for Walking presents a common walking policy framework to which cities, authorities, organisations, neighbourhood committees and individuals wishing to support and promote this vision and its principles, can adhere. It was developed through a series of international Walk21 conferences, beginning in Portland in 2003, and was launched in Melbourne in 2006. It was drafted based upon the work of experts from over 35 countries, identified the needs of pedestrians and provided a common framework to help authorities focus their policies, activities and collaborations so as to create a culture where walking is the norm. To date, the Charter has been signed by over 5,000 people, including 500 municipalities. Feel free to add your signature.
GR trails in Brussels :
a topoguide and markings
Would you like to hike in Brussels? Preferably in a loop that returns to your starting point? The guidebook offers walks in Brussels and its surroundings, that follow the white and red markings of the Sentiers de Grande Randonnées. The itineraries invite you to get to know the Brussels metropolis through walking, taking you through more than 70 green spaces and along paths, tracks, boardwalks and sometimes across meadows.
12 itineraries, ranging from 7 to 26km long, totalling 243.5km of walks. Each is described in detail and includes the route, cultural and tourist information and places to eat and drink along the way.
“Mettez-vous à notre place”
Have you ever come across users who have decided to take over and block the pavement, a pedestrian crossing, a park entrance, a spot reserved for people with disabilities, etc.? Not only is it annoying and inconvenient, but it is also forbidden and dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and people with reduced mobility. You can report it to the municipality, but in many cases the police would need to already be there to take action. Another solution, offered by Tous à Pied, the Cawab & Gracq, is to act, in a firm but courteous manner! Let the user know, thanks to the "Mettez-vous sur notre place" ("Put yourself in our shoes") post-it notes, which can be stuck on the windscreens of badly parked cars. The goal is to highlight active modes of mobility and ensure that the rights and needs of people who use them are respected. To obtain these post-its, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your postal address and the number of post-its you need.
A guide showcasing slow ways
25 tips for communes to improve the slow lane network. Concrete examples, in Brussels, of interventions and measures that ensure a stronger and more robust network of slow ways at local and supralocal level. The collection of tips is a great sample of short-, medium- and long-term initiatives. Inspire yourself and your commune.
MOBIGIS is Brussels Mobility's geographic information system. The map portal allows you to view all the data on a map and measure and draw on it.
You can select filters and activate several layers related to pedestrian data, such as the pedestrian crossing layer, STAPAS, the Promenade Verte, be.running, etc.
Visualise the pedestrian network, identify who is the manager of each street or road and find out how your street is categorised:
PLUS : one of the metropolitan area’s main axes
CONFORT : a complement to the network, that connects the capital’s various centres,
QUARTIER : ensures access to neighbourhoods and urban functions, allowing each network to perform well and to be integrated into the public space.
Pedestrian certificate: for a walking experience at school
Good Planet offers an opportunity to try out walking as part of children's journeys to and from school. The aim is to promote a culture of walking and ensure safe pedestrian travel. Through a 4-step process, pupils learn how to cross at a pedestrian crossings and walk on pavements: first with theoretical training, then tests and exercises within the school, followed by experiences in real-life conditions and finally, an evaluation with a certificate. Every year, an invitation is sent out to Brussels schools: training for first year primary school pupils is available on registration and without participation fees.
Du code de la route
au code de la rue
Belgium’s Code de la Rue (Street Code) was created in response to two observations and numerous consultations.
(1) most serious accidents involving pedestrians, persons with reduced mobility (PMR) or cyclists happen in built-up areas.
(2) these users were often overlooked by the Highway Code, which focused mainly on motor vehicle traffic.
Important changes to the Highway Code were introduced by the Royal Decree of 4 April 2003 and referred to as the "Code de la Rue". These changes, which have been in force since 2004, aim to ensure a better balance between the different categories of road users and offer greater safety to soft users. These amendments were the result of numerous meetings gathering representatives from pedestrian, cyclist, PMR and parent associations.
The Highway Code and Code de la Rue are the responsibility of the Federal Government. Any changes to the Highway Code are made by the Federal Government, except for speed limit issues, which have been devolved to the regions. The regions are consulted for each amendment. To deliver a position, the Minister for Mobility submits the file to the Regional Government, which, in turn, advises the Federal Government of its position.
Non-profit Voetgangersbeweging occupies a seat on the Commission fédérale de la Sécurité Routière (Federal Road Safety Commission), to represent pedestrians.
The rules of the Highway Code, as applied in practice, are described in the Code du Gestionnaire, which is fully regionalised. Each region can adapt it and the proposed changes will be presented to the Regional Mobility Commission, where the walking platform has its seat, for its opinion.
Piek-a-boo de Bral
La qualité de l'air à Bruxelles doit être améliorée, c'est une question de santé publique. C'est pourquoi l'asbl BRAl en collaboration avec l'administration Bruxelles Environnement et le VUB ont mis en place des compteurs pour mesurer les taux de pollution dans l'air bruxellois permettant de mettre en évidence les pics de pollution. Vous pouvez vous aussi participer à ces campagnes de mesures nécessaires pour identifier les endroits problématiques et les solutions nécessaires.
Charter for pedestrian surfaces in the Brussels-Capital Region
Bruxelles Mobilité has outlined, in its Charte sur les revêtements piétons en Région de Bruxelles-Capitale (charter for pedestrian surfaces in the Brussels-Capital Region), the different types of pedestrian surfaces and the procedures for implementing them in urban planning projects, to achieve universal accessibility for all and an acceptable quality of use. This is a precious charter to carry, reference or remind people of when it comes to guaranteeing and defending access to public spaces for all. Whether they are a child, a pregnant woman, an elderly person, someone who tires quickly, people with a physical or mental disability, etc. all users have a right to use comfortable, accessible, practical and safe pavements, paths, etc.
OpenStreetMap is a map of the world published for free under an open content license. It is built by volunteer contributors, can be edited by anyone and is constantly evolving. For Brussels, this online mapping service also allows a local view and a level of detail that exceeds other mapping services. It includes a detailed map of the pedestrian network. To contribute to OpenStreetMap, you can broadcast GPS tracks, or edit the digital map from your computer.
Promenade verte, signage that invites people to walk
Set off on a tour around green Brussels: 7 sections, each 5 to 12km long and covering a total of almost 60km, take you through the various facets of the Brussels-Capital Region's landscapes (urban, rural, industrial, etc.), allowing you to discover the capital's many green spaces. Signposted and open in both directions to pedestrians and cyclists thanks to dedicated infrastructure, this is a genuine little gem to discover at your own pace. A map and a gpx route are also available