New nature in the Heyvaert district
In 2021, OKRA has won the design competition for the new Small Zenne Park in the Heyvaert district in the Brussels Capital Region. The Small Zenne Park will bring new nature and outdoor space to a highly urbanised industrial area, where there is little access to nature and open spaces.
The Small Zenne Park will become a green promenade about one kilometre long that follows the former bed of the river Small Zenne. The area is now mainly used as a storage area for the car trade. The new city park in the Heyvaert district will be constructed in phases depending on land acquisition’s possibilities and at locations where car dealerships make way for urban development.
OKRA chooses a biophilic design approach that aims to reconnect people with nature by stimulating different levels of nature experience in the urban environment, using the former bed of the river as a metaphor for the new city park. This approach forms the basis for the design in many ways, from nature-based solutions such as phytoremediation and sustainable drainage systems to a design language that encourages a greater appreciation of nature.