Press release Video Plan B Josaphat


Man, plant and animal are at stake on the Brussels Josaphat site

The Brussels government will have to choose on the Josaphat site. Does it want to be the last government of the 20th century or the first government of the 21st century?

"We are here on the Friche Josaphat. In 20 years, an incredible source of biodiversity has developed here naturally. It should be able to last for centuries, but it may be over by next year." With these words, historian and writer David Van Reybrouck opens the video on the "Plan B Josaphat".

He is not the only one in Brussels who is worried about the future of this exceptional space. A network of citizens and associations wants to protect this jewel of Brussels' biodiversity. They are reaching out to the Brussels government to draw up a plan together for the Friche Josaphat in a new video. 

"What better way to understand what is at stake in urban development plans than by going there on-site? However, due to corona and the breeding season, it is not ideal to allow a mass of people on the Friche. We, therefore, call on everyone to watch the video. That way, people can better understand why we need to preserve this unique spot in Brussels," says Steyn Van Assche of BRAL, an urban movement for Brussels.

"The nice thing with a dossier like Josaphat's is that we bring together nature experts, such as those active in Natagora and Natuurpunt, with local residents, urban movements for Brussels, people who maintain a vegetable garden, and with a whole host of actors who make the world of tomorrow.” The basic idea of Plan B Josaphat is very simple: reinforce nature where there is now nature and reinforce the city where there is now the city. You can perfectly combine the two: green where it is now green, grey where it is already grey," adds Amandine Tiberghien of Natagora.

These citizens and associations who are committed today to protect the Friche Josaphat are not doing so because they are against politics. On the contrary, says David Van Reybrouck. "They want to think constructively about the future of this special place. That is why they are calling for a halt to the start-up phase. Before you know it, the work has started and it is too late. The Brussels Government will have to choose whether it wants to be the last government of the 20th century or the first government of the 21st century. The choice is hers."

 Through an online petition, more than 15,000 people expressed their disagreement with the current plan and demanded a different vision: a Plan B for Josaphat.

Note for the journalist

Press contact: 

  • Natagora: Amandine Tiberghien, 02 893 09 25 (FR + EN)
  • BRAL: Steyn Van Assche, 0498 13 25 86 (NL + EN)

Signed by:

ARAU, BRAL, Bruxelles Nature, collectif Bas Les PAD, Comité Mediapark, Natagora, Natuurpunt Brussel, Josaph’aire, Sauvons La Friche Josaphat, Sauvons le parc avenue des jardins, Comité Leopold III