OKRA gives new impulse to the city centre of Mechelen

OKRA and Atelier Ruimtelijk advies are appointed as designers for the redevelopment of an important part of the historic city centre of Mechelen.

The city centre of Mechelen suffers from a lack of space, and car traffic has deprived many streets of their character. OKRA plays an important role in improving the spatial quality of the city centre of Mechelen. The City Master plan Mechelen consists of a series of redevelopment projects, including the old Melaan canal, the Hoogstraat and the Korenmarkt. On the north bank of the river Dijle, OKRA worked on the redevelopment of the Lange Schipstraat.

OKRA is currently working together with Atelier Ruimtelijk Advies on a design for the redevelopment of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat and the Adegemstraat in its extension. As a result, OKRA is shaping an important urban route of approximately 1500 meters on the south bank of the Dijle. The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat will become a pedestrian-friendly and car-free shopping street that will reflect the wishes of local entrepreneurs and the ambitions of the city council to make the city centre greener and climate-proof. Flexible use, seasonal experience, softening of the streets and extra buffers for rainwater are essential principles in the design.

Climate-adaptive cities
OKRA uses sustainable technical solutions to make cities climate-adaptive, resistant to recent climate developments with periods of extreme precipitation and periods of extreme drought and heat stress in the summer. These techniques were also applied in Mechelen during the redevelopment of the old Melaan canal, between the Zakstraat and the Muntstraat. For the application of these techniques in the redevelopment of the city centre of Nijverdal, OKRA was awarded the Water Resilient Cities Award 2019.