EXPO Save | Change the City - Unbuilt Brussels #01

23/06/2017 - 24/09/2017

The Marolles district and its inhabitants, who had to clear out to facilitate the extension of the courts building (Palais de Justice), the demolition of the Halles Centrales to make way for a new multi-story car park (the now obsolete Parking 58), the appalling idea of an urban motorway, the destruction of Horta’s Maison du Peuple, and the Manhattan plan that set out to convert the residential district around the Brussels North train station into a US-style business district: in the 1950s and 1960s, Brusselisation was out of control. Brussels looked like a city that was being demolished – and not in wartime either. Large parts of the city were handed over to the property developers. Entire neighbourhoods were devastated. Residents of working-class districts were evicted in droves. And those plans had the support of the authorities. The starting point was that the ‘indispensable modernisation’ of the city was the first priority. But resistance was organised. The first neighbourhood committees were set up; local people rebelled. May 1968 protesters in Brussels had a clear goal. Two associations played a key role in that context: the Sint-Lukasarchief and the Archives d’Architecture Moderne. They took a stand for the people of Brussels and for urban heritage and architecture. Now, in 2017, both are part of the CIVA Foundation.

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