The City of Antwerp and the District of Antwerp have fully approved plans to turn the Schuttershofstraat into a fully pedestrian shopping area. The Schuttershofstraat, running parallel to the Meir, is known for the more high-end and expensive shops.
It will be transformed into a ‘winkelerf‘, so that pedestrians can use the full width. This makes it pleasant to stroll, linger, shop and live. The District of Antwerp will start revamping in the course of 2023.
After consultation with local residents and traders in April, the concept was further developed into the final design, which has now been approved by the district council and the city council.
By investing in the streetscape, the City and the District want to increase the appeal for visitors and entrepreneurs and emphasize the specific identity of the street.
The redevelopment provides high-quality greenery, more living space and the expansion of the car-free area in the city center. The Schuttershofstraat will once again be a shopping street with a lot of appearance and comfort and space for cyclists and pedestrians.
District mayor Paul Cordy (N-AVA): “With the new design, the Schuttershofstraat fits in much better with the area around the Bourla Theatre. As a result, residents as well as walkers and shoppers will really experience this part of the city as a pleasant neighborhood and discover its assets. We are transforming the Schuttershofstraat from a dilapidated public domain into a high-quality pedestrian street with a lot of attention for greenery and the architectural gems in the street.”
Car-free shopping street
The Schuttershofstraat will be a car-free shopping street. This is in line with the policy vision to connect them to the pedestrian zone of, among others, the Meir and the Wapper.
For this purpose, there will be a disappearing pole installation at the beginning of the street, at the Komedieplaats side. In order to maximize the quality of the stay and to adapt the design to the future pedestrian area, no parking spaces are provided anymore.
The choice of material for the redevelopment is geared to the neighboring streets and future projects adjacent to Schuttershofstraat. We work with granite in mosaic format.
Green planting areas and extra trees
The street will have planting areas in Corten steel with an upstand, so that the high-quality underplanting that comes into it is protected. On top of the fourteen existing trees, two new large trees will be added. The existing trees are moved to the new planting areas.
“Together with the entrepreneurs in the street, we thought about how the identity of the street can be redefined by welcoming visitors and increasing its appeal. This identity project will be further elaborated in the coming year and realized together with the redevelopment”, Cordy says.
The result will be visible in the green areas and the design of the benches, and the illumination of some historic facades in the street. In addition, a new installation will be built on the Huidevettersstraat side to emphasize its own identity.
Koen Kennis, Alderman for Small Businesses and Mobility (N-VA): “Earlier, the city council, in consultation with merchants and the real estate sector, had designated attractive areas, each with its own character. The Schutterhofstraat is clearly defined in those plans as a street for high-end shopping and luxury businesses. The design of the planned redevelopment exudes class and added value, matching the feeling that the businesses in the Schuttershofstraat evoke.”
The exact timing of the execution of the works is still being worked out. The ambition is to start work in the spring of 2023.
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