MOL – The residents of the Bosveld/Keirlandse Zillen residential area in Mol were introduced to the proposal concepts for the redevelopment of their residential area. This social residential area is located near the Center, north of the railway and the Keirlandse Zillen. The district is currently struggling with many problems due to the outdated public infrastructure, with the footpaths and green areas in particular needing a major update. After a participation process with the residents of this residential area under the heading ‘De Keirlandse Zillen blossoms open’, the proposal concepts are on the table. The development of the technical plans is now the next step before the final realization comes into view.
Frederik Loy (CD&V), councilor for green: ‘The residential area that extends over the streets Kerkelanden and Bosveld is known in our municipality as the Gray District. This name refers to the color of the houses. The district itself is anything but gray. In fact, the current greenery is currently one of the problems. The roots of the trees push the sidewalks up. The hedges, which are far too robust and present in large numbers, dominate the street scene, offer little biodiversity, create a feeling of insecurity and require excessive maintenance. The current greenery is therefore more of an obstacle than an asset to living, playing and meeting in the neighborhood.’
Together with Egelsvennen, this residential area is one of the typical examples of the so-called ‘carpet districts’ according to the Radburn principle. This gives these residential areas a special architectural and urban development value, which deserves protection and a well-thought-out approach. Residential areas such as the Keirlandse Zillen – dating from the early 1980s – responded to the then rapidly growing car ownership. For example, large numbers of garage boxes have been provided, separate from the home. In addition, car traffic is maximally separated from the walking paths. These form their own network in the neighborhood, especially through the green zones. The front of the houses is mainly located at the rear where the communal green areas are also located, away from the street and car traffic. The houses are planted close together in a stepped or sawtooth pattern, giving everyone the necessary privacy. The residential area was built in two phases in 1984, according to a design by architect Leo Verbist. The client was the Molse Housing Company, now Woonboog.
A new vision for the future of the public space (roads, footpaths, etc.) and the green areas (trees, hedges, shrubs, communal green spaces, play and meeting facilities, etc.) of this residential area is on the table. This vision was achieved through a participation process in which as many residents as possible could participate through various initiatives. The new vision forms the basis for the development of technical plans and an eventual phased reconstruction of the public infrastructure.
The proposal concepts form the basis for a phased realization that will be examined by the new legislature in accordance with the new budget plan. In the interim period, the current proposal concepts will be developed in detail into technical design plans. Lieve Heurckmans (CD&V), councilor for community development: ‘Following up on this participation process, we will also start a follow-up to the Resilient Villages story this year with the residents of the residential area. The focus is on social cohesion, active citizenship, poverty, climate and energy, aging, young people, mobility and the presence of basic facilities. Both routes connect nicely with each other. This process runs in collaboration with the province of Antwerp and Rurant. With this subsequent process we will continue to build on the network that has been built up and the current participation results.’ (EM / Photo N-VA Mol)