Climate Streets

© Ecohuis Antwerpen

Liveable, safe and healthy streets.

How do we design our streets as liveable places for encounters that offer space for cooling, water and greenery? How do we prioritise healthy and safe mobility at the same time?

Display Case


Citizens are taking the management of their streets into their own hands. They are creating garden streets, summer streets, living streets and school streets. What can we learn from all these initiatives? What support could they use? How can we boost social innovation?

Action plan


Many challenges converge in the narrow but intensively used space in the street: mobility, climate, water, community building. The new needs require a cascade of changes. What resources and expertise do we need to scale up the future-oriented street in bold policy programmes?

Discover the map with all the Building Blocks

Building blocks

building blocks

Lijnbaanstraat, Ostend - Cool Towns

Today, Lijnbaanstraat, an extensively paved and unattractive car park in the commercial centre of Ostend, is being transformed into a green oasis. The street thus not only serves as an appealing garden for city dwellers, but is also an important asset for combating heat stress. The project is part of the European Cool Towns project.

N9 road verge, Eeklo

The N9 is an arterial route running right through Eeklo and is the first thing visitors see when travelling to the city. The bare appearance of the road verge and the redevelopment of the mobility plan prompted the city council to take over ownership and management of the road verge from the Roads and Traffic Agency (AWV).

Commons lab, Antwerp

Commons Lab Antwerp can be viewed as the spider in the web of a multitude of initiatives in Antwerp carried out by citizens, government, businesses and knowledge institutions. The collective focuses on involvement within a broad theme and a sense of urgency, with the key question: to whom does the city belong, and how can we all manage the city together?

Edegemsesteenweg, Kontich

Planned sewerage works prompted a total revamp of the Edegemsesteenweg, including a park and two school zones. Water that was previously drained invisibly underground is now afforded a very prominent place in the street scene. A number of obstacles had to be overcome to achieve this.

Garden Streets Antwerp - Lange Ridderstraat

Garden Streets Antwerp is part of a broad vision to turn the city into a climate-resilient, high-quality environment. The garden street also promotes social interaction in the street. After an initial phase of pilot projects, the city is elevating its ambitions to the permanent green-blue transformation of streets in five Antwerp districts.

Borluut Living Garden – Ghent Living Gardens

Since 2012, Ghent has been experimenting with the Living Streets programme on how an alternative street layout can create a stronger neighbourhood feeling. In 2020, the temporary living streets were expanded to include three living gardens. A living garden, just like a living street, is always created at the initiative of the local residents. The living garden at Borluut, a social housing block on Watersportbaan, was supported by the city in cooperation with Samenlevingsopbouw vzw.

School environment Elzestraat, St. Katelijne-Waver

The Elzestraat in St. Katelijne-Waver is the village’s central street, with a church, parish hall, catering establishments and a school. The public space largely focused on the flow of vehicular traffic, with school-aged children navigating their way in the margins. A large-scale renovation of the village centre revamped the school environment and transformed Elzestraat from a transit area to a residential area.

Evence Coppéelaan, Genk

In the 'Vlaanderen Breekt Uit' programme, Evence Coppéelaan was the only entry in which a concrete road was completely desealed. The road will be transformed into a pleasant, experiential and traffic-safe environment. No less than 10,000 m2 of asphalt will disappear in the process.

Filter Café Filtré Atelier vzw

In 2018, continued insight into the harmful effects of air pollution on our health gave rise to mass campaigns by parents, schools and children in Brussels and Flanders against unsafe and unhealthy school environments. With actions, from school gates to the A12 motorway and the Brouckèreplein, Filter Café put air quality on the political agenda.In 2019, the non-profit organisation of the same name was created, which continues to work with its Atelier on the constructive representation of a car-free, liveable and climate-proof city.


Green routes reconnecting the city and landscape

Waterrijk Waterschei

Buffering water in gardens, streets and squares relieves the burden on sewer systems

Eau de Couture

Water as a lever to build a cohesive community

Place Marie Jansonplein

Square becomes park in a water-retention strategy between high and low


photo: Bob van Mol

© Bob van Mol
Not only were our tales on transformation told by our human guides the past few months, but the printed exhibition guide also took you along prefigurations of our societies, neighbourhoods and landscapes.

Some of you took a copy home, to colleagues, to family and friends. The tales are now ready to live their own lives. You can browse the booklet yourself and get carried away by the narratives told and be surprised by the projects involved.

Browse the exhibition guide
The climate street as a lever
The climate street as a leverphoto: 2020
The climate street as a lever
The climate street as a lever
© 2020
Many challenges converge in the street. Although they are often linked to different policy domains and competences, they land in the same space. In many pioneering projects, we see that they start from one specific challenge. For example, the air quality at the school gates, or the desire for extra meeting and playing space during the summer months.
When we talk about a climate street, we go a step further. Although it may start from one specific challenge, the climate street looks for methods to tackle other challenges at the same time. How can improving air quality be combined with combating heat? How can the reuse of rainwater also provide for additional meeting and social contact in the neighbourhood? There are endless win-win opportunities to be found in the street.
The fact that the green spaces in the city, such as at the foot of trees in the street, have to be neatly and professionally maintained is something that few people think about. Lieven provides an insight into the impact of the greening of streets on the management activities of the Parks Department - and the way in which citizens can enjoy this 'self-evident process’.
Commons Lab is an Antwerp citizen initiative set up in 2018, involving shared use without ownership, but with proper agreements. A common, Koen says, which started with a communal rain barrel - but now has a portfolio that extends to the city level.
Portraits: #6 Sophie
Sophie is a Hero for Zero: she advocates for zero road fatalities and serious casualties in the streets of Brussels. It not only involves road safety, but also laying claim to the public space. To create a city that prioritises soft road users and social life above the flow of vehicles.
Portraits: #2 BernadetteA group of local residents in the Ghent district of Rabot won their battle against the construction of a car park in their area and set up a communal garden on the site instead. The inner area containing 24 kitchen gardens now forms a green space for neighbourhood encounters, explains Bernadette, catalyst behind the project.
A group of local residents in the Ghent district of Rabot won their battle against the construction of a car park in their area and set up a communal garden on the site instead. The inner area containing 24 kitchen gardens now forms a green space for neighbourhood encounters, explains Bernadette, catalyst behind the project.


De Standaard
Ine Renson, Ivan Put
Architecture Workroom Brussels | Departement Omgeving Vlaanderen
Architecture Workroom Brussels, Departement Omgeving Vlaanderen
Fietsberaad Vlaanderen | Team Vlaams Bouwmeester
Stefan Bendiks, Ana Daniela Dresler, Aglaée Degros en Clément Gay (Artgineering), Eva Van Eenoo, Kobe Boussauw (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research), Wout Baert, Inge Caers (Fietsberaad Vlaanderen), Leo Van Broeck, Julie Mabilde, Annelies Augustyns (Team Vlaams Bouwmeester)
College van Rijksadviseurs
Essays door Berno Strootman, Jan Willem Erisman, Krijn Poppe, Merel Hondebrink, Jeroen Pijlman, Evert Prins, Pieter Struyk, Jan-Paul Wagenaar, Shera van den Wittenboer, Marieke Francke onder redactie van Marijke Bovens. Tekstadvies van College van Rijksadviseurs en Noël van Dooren
Stad Antwerpen
Johan De Herdt, Griet Lambrechts, Ronny Van Looveren, Kristel Heyman, Vincent Van Ryssegem, Filip Lenders, Elke Van de Mosselaer, Marijke De Roeck
Departement Omgeving Vlaanderen
Smets J., Wanner S., De Blust G., Turkelboom F.

Capital Agricole

Pavillon de l'Arsenal
Augustin Rosenstiehl
Dirk Holemans, Pieter Van den Broeck, Annette Kuhk et al.
Pano | VRT NWS
Ilse van Lysebet, Guy De Troyer
Stad Gent
Paul Teerlinck et al.
Gemeente Amsterdam, Urhahn
Ad de Bonk, Anouk Distelbrink, Wendy Van Kessel et al.
Leefmilieu Brussel
Dirk Lauwaet, Stijn Vranckx, Stefanie Dens, Thomas Hawer