The Brussels Region has been building for several years a strategy to enhance the school environment in Brussels, in order to respond to the demographic boom which is putting pressure on the school infrastructures. To this end, it has created a facilitator service within Perspective.brussels. One of the projects managed by this service is the School Contracts. After a first pilot program in 2018, the region launched the first “official” series of School Contracts in 2019.
The mission consists in carrying out an operational urbanism study inspired by the neighbourhood Contracts, with the aim of improving the relationships between a school and its urban environment. How can the school open up and benefit the neighbourhood? How can the neighbourhood meet the needs of the school? The study aims, in a collective process involving all the stakeholders, to define a series of projects leading to these objectives. 4 schools are part of this train: Ulenspiegel (St Gilles), Champagnat (Schaerbeek), school 1 (Schaerbeek) and Marius Renard (Anderlecht).
The approach for this mission consisted in listening all the stakeholders present: school staff, pupils, technical staff, neighbourhood residents, authorities. The methodology makes it possible to establish a series of diagnostic findings for the 4 schools which are shared collectively through various moments of exchange. The objective is to place the school at the heart of a transformation of the neighbourhood. The health crisis impacted the process but the participatory thread was able to be maintained through certain digital tools. Work is currently continuing on the formalization of a programme for each school.