An island in the middle of the river strengthens the relation between the left and right banks, and enlarges the city centre. It generates employment and potential for the further development of the Left Bank as a high-quality residential area. The new island can drive the transformation of the area.
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The Left Bank is a distinctive area of Antwerp. It is the result of a patchwork of plans that were only partly implemented. For example, residential towers are positioned right beside villa districts and recreation zones. Moreover, it is a residential area with a limited mixture of functions. To give this area fresh impetus, EGM designed an island in the River Schelde, with high-quality residential and office areas as catalysts for the further transformation of the Left Bank and the city centre.
The Left Bank is an interesting and attractive area. With large open zones, plenty of greenery and enclosed villa parks, it stands in stark contrast to the right bank. The area has plenty of potential, but it is insufficiently exploited. The River Schelde forms a natural barrier between the Left Bank and the vibrant city centre. As a result, the area does not feel like part of the city.
An island in the middle of the Schelde brings the Left Bank closer and increases the size of the city centre. The island will be developed not only with various public and recreational functions, but also head offices, government institutions and high-quality residential areas. The new island can thus become the modern financial district of Antwerp and generate employment and opportunities for the further development of the Left Bank.
With the development of the new centre, the left and right banks will acquire more equal positions within the city region. The Left Bank offers a calm oasis made up of residential and recreation areas that act as a counterbalance to the busy tourist centre on the right bank.
In parallel, the riverbank in the old city centre will be redeveloped with underground parking. The space created as a result will be designed with parks, cafés and social functions. Many large apartment complexes in the central area of the Left Bank will be replaced by smaller residential blocks. The result will be improved residential quality with smaller communities, higher densities and clearly defined public spaces that provide a fresh impetus in the city region.
The aim of the Left Bank design proposed by EGM is to generate new ideas and insights for the social and cultural debate on the future urban transformation of the Left Bank in Antwerp, Belgium.