Dear Brussels resident, dear Brussels fan,
Building junkyard playgrounds. Providing colourful benches where you can sit and chat with someone to practice a different language. Investing in youth welfare work, to get through the waiting lists. These are just some of the ideas that we as the Flemish Community Commission (VGC) collected during our Stadspiratie participation programme carried out among you, citizens, visitors and organisations in Brussels. And these ideas are the inspiration for our 2021-2025 multi-year plan. Curious to know what all these ideas are about?
We outline our policy for the coming years in a multi-year plan. Stadspiratie aimed to bring together as many of the people of Brussels as possible between 28 January and 4 July 2020 to help shape that plan. So everyone could submit ideas: on the trilingual online platform www.stadspiratie.be, on postcards, at group meetings and in online sessions. Thank you for your enthusiasm: despite the coronavirus crisis, we received no fewer than 1,130 ideas for the city!
What did we learn from you? The people of Brussels dream of having a clean and sustainable city that is pleasant to live in. We received quite a few pleas for “small” green projects. Liveability is about waste management and sustainability, as well.
By doing things together, people also start creating together. The ideas revealed a lot of appreciation for volunteers. Neighbourhood actions and neighbourhood activities are important for Brussels, too: both on a large and small scale, including different cultures and generations.
Children who grow up in Brussels mainly need safe, child-friendly infrastructure. A lot of ideas concern the practical organisation, accessibility and affordability of childcare and leisure activities, particularly for children with a disability. The participants are also expressly requesting more physical space for children.
In the proposals about learning, attention focuses mainly on the need for sufficient capacity in schools, as well as guidance, particularly for children who need extra care. Digitalisation is a priority area. And the people of Brussels need to be able to develop their talents outside school, as well.
Many participants have ideas to encourage and support multilingualism. Being able to speak different languages is an important asset, not least on the labour market. Letting children and adults speak their own language and at the same time learn Dutch properly is possible.
Connecting holds a central place in the ideas about information and communication. The people of Brussels would like all information about Brussels to be available clearly, accessibly and in several languages on an online platform. Communicating about the advantages of living in the city can attract young families and ensure that they continue to live in Brussels.
We also received quite a few ideas about Brussels as a mobile, enterprising or residential city. The VGC is not competent for these areas. We are passing these ideas on to the competent authorities.
The Stadspiratie project also showed that citizens and associations can do a great deal themselves. The VGC can help/assist with and support these/their initiatives. In many of the ideas, weaker groups in Brussels were a focus of attention. The people of Brussels worry about vulnerable people and groups and want to make Brussels a better place for them, too.
The ideas and concrete policy recommendations collected inspire our multi-year plan for the 2021-2025 period. And more than that: participation is definitely an objective in our plan. You will hear and read more about this shortly. And the Stadspiratie project is to carry on after that: in the next few years we will keep you informed about the implementation of the multi-year plan and the fulfilment of your proposals. So together we continue to build the city!