Urban renewal in La Hestre
This downtrodden neighbourhood needed an injection of new life. Previously at the heart of the central region, near La Louvière, it had suffered when two municipalities merged and the regional hospital closed. It still has a lot going for it being near to Mariemont Park, a strong identity with one of Belgium’s most beautiful tree-lined avenues, a well-known market, real-estate opportunities and proximity to the motorway.
Our role was to gather qualitative data, initiate participatory processes and workshops, draw up possible project leads with users and inhabitants and manage feedback. This gave us first-hand understanding of the potential and also the very difficult socio-economic situation. Recommendations put forward aimed at fostering a sustainable neighbourhood through local businesses, greening, the recovery of public areas, alternative forms of transport and improving the quality of roads.
Most of the projects developed with the builder have received funding and are underway. The most impressive of these is the new ‘parc des Jésuites’ (a project Suède 36 designed with JNC), paths and a design for the main square in La Hestre.