"Give Brusselers more breathing space, open Royal Parks in Laken" Author: Michaël Torfs

Belga
Thu 01/06/2017 - 17:09 Michaël Torfs The pressure group Picnic The Streets was one of the driving forces behind the pedestrian precinct in Brussels five years ago. Now, activists have found a new target: the royal estate in Laken. On 25 June, they will try to scale the park walls to stage a picnic in the large park, De Morgen reports.

The group will take on a different name just for the occasion: "Picnic the Royal Park'. "We will be staging a picnic event in front of one of the park's entrances. However, if enough people turn up, and if we are motivated enough, we will take it one step further and try to picnic in the royal park itself", Gerben Van den Abeele told Radio 1. 

They are not the first ones to put pressure on the king to open up his gigantic park in Brussels. It's one of the green lungs in the capital and situated relatively close to the centre, which is in itself short of green areas. "Make it a public park. It doesn't make sense that one family owns such a large estate. It's even bigger than the whole municipality of Sint-Joost, but people can hardly benefit from it." 

"Also, it's situated close to the Canal area, a densely populated district which is now short of green space. This impacts on the state of mind and the health of all Brussels residents. Our conclusion: the park should become a public one", says Van den Abeele.

It's highly unlikely that King Filip will yield to the pressure. The park covers 186 hectares, some 460 acres.