Renewal and Community Spirit: Saint-Gilles Unveils Mairesse Garden

In a testament to urban renewal and community collaboration, Saint-Gilles has unveiled the Mairesse Garden, marking a significant milestone in the Parvis-Morichar Sustainable Neighbourhood Contract.

Nestled between Rue de l’Hôtel de Monnaies and Rue Coenen, this new community space encompasses nine residential homes, a crèche, and a park open to all.

Officially inaugurated on July 3rd, Mairesse Garden embodies the culmination of efforts by the Brussels-Capital Region, the municipality of Saint-Gilles, and local residents to enhance housing options and public amenities in the area stretching from Place Morichar to Parvis de Saint-Gilles.

“We are addressing key concerns of our residents: affordable housing, enhanced early childhood services, and the expansion of our green network,” remarked Saint-Gilles Mayor Jean Spinette (PS), underscoring the project’s commitment to community welfare.

At the heart of the development are nine modern homes, three of which boast a “zero energy” design, complemented by solar panels across all residences. The integration of sustainable features aligns with the project’s environmental ethos, promoting energy efficiency and reducing ecological footprint.

Named in honor of Joséphine Hortense Mairesse, the municipality’s pioneering female educator, the park spans 900m² and includes a vibrant playground—a fitting tribute chosen by students from Saint-Gilles College.

This revitalized green space, formerly known as Coenen Park, symbolizes a dedication to preserving natural environments amidst urban expansion.

Artistic expression also thrives within Mairesse Garden, with a striking mural adorning the façade designed by renowned artist Dulk, courtesy of the art collective All About Things.

This collaboration underscores Saint-Gilles’ commitment to integrating cultural elements into its urban fabric, enriching the community experience through public art.

The project’s financial commitment is substantial, with €7.1 million invested in Mairesse Garden’s completion, marking a significant public investment in sustainable urban development. Citydev.

Brussels is overseeing the initiative, owns the property, and will manage the leasing of homes to tenants, ensuring accessibility and affordability for residents.

Since its inception, the Parvis-Morichar Sustainable Neighbourhood Contract has revitalized several key areas, including Place Marie Janson, Hélène De Rudder Garden, and Pierre Paulus Park, fostering a cohesive and vibrant urban landscape.

As Saint-Gilles embraces a future shaped by sustainable living and community engagement, Mairesse Garden stands as a beacon of renewal—a testament to the power of collaboration and vision in building inclusive, thriving urban communities.

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