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SK8 Port: a new skatepark overlooking the Canal

 - © (J.J.)

2021.07.13 - The Port of Brussels today opened SK8 Port, the new skatepark on Port area land in the outer harbour of Brussels. Located on the left bank at 102 Chaussée de Vilvorde, this new 600 m² facility represents the culmination of a long-term project that began in December 2019 with the relocation of a crane from the right to the left bank. The skatepark has been created at the foot of this historic crane. It is accessible by public transport (with a link to Gare du Nord by bus 57).

The opening ceremony was attended by Yassine Akki, President, and Anthony Baert, Vice-President of the Port of Brussels, Philippe Close, Mayor, Benoit Hellings, City of Brussels Alderman for Climate and Sports, and Alain Maron, Minister responsible for the Port of Brussels. After today’s official opening, the skatepark will be managed by the City of Brussels.

This skatepark is the result of a substantial 1.25 million-euro investmentfinanced by the Port of Brussels, the Brussels-Capital Region and ERDF funding from the European Union. The development of this new outdoor sports and recreational facility in the north of Brussels reflects the desire of the Brussels authorities to encourage a renewal of the Port area’s attractiveness to new groups. To do this, they are focusing on improving the integration of port activities in the city; within the framework of the Canal Plan and the Landscape Quality Plan, this also involves developing the Canal’s banks and the cycle path between the new skatepark and the Brussels Cruise Terminal, the passenger terminal of the Port of Brussels.

The name ‘Sk8 Port’ was selected by the Port of Brussels following a participatory processinvolving Port employees. The visual identity was then developed by SIGN, at the request of the Port of Brussels, in collaboration with the City of Brussels and the Brussels-Capital Region.

The entire project (skatepark, redevelopment of the bank, relocation of the crane, development of the cycle path), has been coordinated by the architecture firm ARTER. The skatepark itself was designed by Pierre Jambé, who has been involved in the creation of numerous skateparks, especially in Latin America. The contractor that carried out the work, Hertsens, brought in two companies specialising in skatepark construction: one from Belgium (Public Partners) and one from Spain (iO Skateparks).

Minister-President Vervoort commented: ‘I’m happy that this project has been completed. It implements part of the Canal Plan, on which we’ve been working for years, by offering a sports facility on the left bank for people living locally and in Brussels, in a manner entirely consistent with the presence of economic activities linked to the waterway.It highlights once again the contribution made by ERDF funding to the achievement of the Brussels Government’s urban development ambitions.’

Yassine Akki, President of the Port of Brussels, said:‘This new sports facility on the edge of the Port area (…) offers the growing number of skateboarders in our city a new space for sport, leisure and having fun. It thus adds a new dimension to the economic role of the Port for Brussels, and to the significant positive impact of river transport on the environment.’

Philippe Close, Mayor of Brussels, added:‘Following the skatepark at Bois de la Cambre, skateboarding has gained another venue in the City, this time by the Canal; the aim, again, is to provide our local communities with collective facilities. We are keen to promote skateboarding and support its practitioners. I would like to thank the Region and the Port of Brussels for this successful collaboration.’