Josaphat in the city
The Josaphat site, a former railway marshalling yard that gradually fell into disuse in the 80s and 90s, is a regional land reserve located on the boundary of the municipalities of Evere and Schaerbeek, and lying between Boulevard Léopold III, Boulevard Wahis and Avenues Latinis, Gilisquet and Henri Conscience.
The site is crossed from north to south by a railway line operating several suburban links on the S network; it is currently served by the Evere stop, located at the northern edge of the site.
This area of more than 30 hectares, consisting of a semi-natural wasteland hemmed in by wooded slopes, is earmarked to become one of the ten new districts that the Brussels-Capital Region is building. The area for development is owned by the Urban Development Corporation (SAU-MSI), the public operator entrusted by the Brussels-Capital Region with the operational implementation of the strategic areas.
The site’s situation in the urban fabric of the north-east of Brussels is unusual. It is situated on lower ground than the surrounding districts, but is little known and invariably surprises those who wander into out of curiosity.
A quiet, somewhat cut-off spot where nature has gradually reasserted itself since the cleaning up of the railway land. This relative isolation is a quality that can be harnessed in order to build the identity of the new district, with the freedom offered by a ‘clean sheet’ and the rich natural environment that is already present. It also presents one of the challenges to develop the new district, re-establishing its links and integrating it into a highly diversified urban environment that currently ignores its presence.