Half of the land in the Brussels-Capital Region is covered with green spaces: forests, woods, public and private parks and gardens, sports grounds, recreation grounds, agricultural areas, wasteland and cemeteries, etc. Eight thousand hectares that harbour an extraordinary biodiversity for a large metropolis. Visits, walks and the discovery of natural treasures enchant the inhabitants of Brussels and all those who visit our green city.
Public Green Spaces
Brussels Environment manages the majority of green spaces in the capital, i.e. 2,210 ha: 400 ha of parks, 1,685 ha of forests and 125 ha of nature reserves. They are managed in such a way as to encourage the co-existence of their various recreational, educational, visual and ecological functions. Local government encourages the participation of the inhabitants and users of the parks and gardens, both during the design or renovation phase and in their maintenance. The other public green spaces are managed and maintained by the different communes in Brussels.
For years, the green spaces in Brussels have been managed in an exemplary manner from an ecological point of view: no pesticides are used, wild plants, indigenous species, more natural banks round the ponds are encouraged, as well as the preservation of dead trees in the woods and creating refuges for a whole series of animals.
The Green Trail is a wonderful 60-km route allowing pedestrians and cyclists to visit the Region and the numerous parks and nature conservation areas. The wealth of this route mainly resides in the astonishing diversity of landscapes. Furthermore, it gives new visibility to spaces that were previously inaccessible to the public. The Green Route is an integral part of the regional "Maillage Vert" which endeavours to preserve Brussels’ natural heritage, by particularly encouraging the diversity of fauna and flora.
In the city, recreation areas are an important component of the quality of the living environment. The inhabitants of Brussels are very much in favour of them because, as citizens, they sometimes live in cramped conditions. Not to mention the fact that the city is currently subject to a soaring population growth and a significantly younger population. The Brussels-Capital Region intends to deploy recreation and sports grounds, as well as informal play areas, and to connect them to each other. The aim is to meet the inhabitants’ recreational needs and give children a special place in our city.
Natura 2000 is a European network of natural or semi-natural sites of great value owing to their exceptional fauna and flora. The network is composed of sites designated by the various member states of the European Union. Contrary to many nature reserves, where economic and social activities are generally excluded, the Natura 2000 zones are not "closed" reserves. The activities remain authorised as long as they do not compromise the conservation and protection of the habitats and species there. In Brussels, these sites cover a surface area of 2,375 ha, i.e. approximately 14% of the Brussels area. They fall under the scope of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC).
The "maillage bleu"
Managed by Brussels Environment, the "maillage bleu" programme aims to restore the continuity and quality of watercourses and ponds. Development work was carried out to separate clean water from wastewater, re-establish the flow of the rivers bring them back to the surface at a local level, provide ponds and wet areas with clean water and reduce the amount of wastewater to be treated in sewage plants. The quality of surface water is therefore improved and, together with the various development work carried out on the banks of these watercourses, this not only allows the aquatic ecosystems to be restored and their biodiversity to be developed, but also helps to prevent flooding and to develop social, visual and recreational functions in the areas concerned.
Since 1998, Brussels Environment has organised free training sessions in composting in partnership with the communes. This has led to the creation of master composters. To help the inhabitants of Brussels succeed in their composting, Brussels Environment also organises short training sessions in composting, in partnership with the non-profit-making association WORMS and the Comité Jean Pain.
en station d’épuration. Les eaux de surface gagnent ainsi en qualité et, avec les aménagements diversifiés de leurs berges, permettent non seulement la restauration des écosystèmes aquatiques et le développement de leur biodiversité mais également de lutter contre les inondations et de valoriser les fonctions sociales, paysagères et récréatives des zones concernées.
Depuis 1998, en partenariat avec les communes, Bruxelles Environnement a mis en place des formations gratuites au compostage. Elles ont permis à un réseau de maîtres-composteurs de voir le jour. Pour aider les Bruxellois à réussir leur compost et en partenariat avec l’asbl WORMS et le Comité Jean Pain, Bruxelles Environnement organise également des formations courtes au compostage.