Nearly 3 million tiles removed in Flanders


The city of Bruges has ‘removed’ the largest number of tiles in recent months. This became apparent when the results of the first Tegelwippen championship were announced. The people of Bruges have removed no fewer than 374,686 tiles since March 21. Genk, Lummen and Maasmechelen also won prizes.

On March 21, the starting signal for the first Flemish Tegelwippen Championship was given. For more than seven months, 172 Flemish municipalities together with their residents ‘popped’ or removed a total of 2,982,378 tiles. Converted, 271,125 square meters or almost 30 hectares have been paved.

Bruges may have removed the most number of tiles, but the best represented region is the province of Limburg. The largest number of tiles per thousand inhabitants (TPI) has been removed there.

Genk won the championship as a large municipality by removing 3,976.58 tiles per thousand inhabitants. In the medium-sized municipalities category, Maasmechelen scored best, with a TPI of 6,451.14. And in the ranking of the small municipalities, Lummen is the big winner with no less than 7,597.8 removed tiles per 1,000 inhabitants.

The mayor of Lummen, Luc Wouters, looked back with satisfaction on the achievements in his municipality. “We have completed many projects. For example, there are roads along the motorway that are up to ten meters wide. Many of them are no longer useful and we have partly narrowed them and planted trees there.” The paving around the lime trees on the church square in Linkhout was also tackled and the pebble paving in the cemeteries was removed and the cemeteries were designed as a park cemetery.

Citizens have also been able to register their projects in recent months. Every month, a Tile Wiper of the Month was chosen from those 1,900 entries. From those winners, the people from Leut were ultimately chosen as Tegelwippers of the year. In the weekend of October 13-15, twenty families took out the jackhammer to create facade gardens in front of their homes. “The result is that the street is no longer gray but green and that there is also more social contact,” say Claudio Engelen and Sonja Kuipers, who took the initiative in Leut and received their winning tile from ambassador Bartel Van Riet.

Due to the great success of the first edition of the Flemish Tegelwippen Championship, there will be another edition next year. The competition starts on March 21, 2024.


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