grote markt, sint-niklaas, belgium
Reorganization of the largest city square in Europe, which both visually and spatially had been dominated by cars for many years. The surrounding streets were sections of busy through roads and the square itself was one large untidy parking lot. The Grote Markt was a chaotic, crowded, and isolated spot in the centre of town. As an integral solution, a grand and spacious urban square with a detailed peripheral zone was designed. The through traffic was rerouted, and a clear and simple circulation plan was drawn up for local traffic. All types of road users have been allocated their own, safe, and orderly place in the system. A half-open car park has been constructed under the fringes of the square. As a result, the central area is completely free of obstacles and is available as a plaza for all kinds of events. The square is surrounded by a wooden promenade where one can see and be seen, sit on the benches, and enjoy (spontaneous) encounters. The promenade has a high sojourn quality and is extremely inviting, partly due to the scale contrast with the square.