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Municipality of Schaerbeek, Belgium

Municipality of Schaerbeek, Belgium

Country: Belgium
City: Brussels
Municipality: Schaerbeek
Number of inhabitants: 127.130 (year 2013)
Area: 8,1 km²
Population density: 15.695 inhabitants /km²

Baseline Data

Located in Brussels, halfway between the international centre of NATO and the European neighbourhood, Schaerbeek is a fast-moving municipality very much on the up. With 127,130 inhabitants, Schaerbeek is the second most populated urban district of the Brussels Region (1,2 M) and the sixth largest entity in Belgium (11M).

These inhabitants come from different cultures (140 nationalities) and social classes that create different atmospheres, as is the case in all major international cities: Belgians originated from Belgium, Morocco or Turkey, new immigrants from Eastern Europe, European or international civil servants, everyone makes his life here, contributing to the dynamic nature of the district.

Covering an area of only 8,1 sq km, Schaerbeek is thus dense but well planned, with wide, open streets, green spaces, a plethora of impressive monuments and emblematic squares, numerous Art Deco and Art Nouveau houses, schools, sports facilities, cultural centres, street markets, etc, as well as inhabitants who have decided to invest in their district.

Schaerbeek possesses a very dynamic economy based mainly on services. It hosts the largest business district in Belgium and a unique media centre in Belgium with almost all the national media bodies and many small audio-visual production companies. And of course, in addition to this, many shops, restaurants, local groceries, etc.


Nowadays, Schaerbeek is facing many challenges, typical of our time and our cities. The expected growth of population (+ 20,000 inhabitants within the next 10 years) raises crucial questions: demand for public infrastructure and equipment, demand for housing, mobility and parking problems, social needs, etc, along with a decrease or a standstill of public resources.

The Brussels region is in fact a large city consisting of 19 municipalities. With a population of over 1.1 million inhabitants, located more or less in the centre of the country, it attracts a large number of commuters (+300,000 a day), causing huge traffic congestion and considerable air quality problems.

The public transport system and railway connections are already close to their maximum capacity, although some improvement may be introduced with the future implementation of RER railways links with major cities located on the region’s border.

The use of the private car is still a favourite means of transport within the city (60% of the Brussels’ Region inhabitants), although 50% of the journeys involve distances of less than two miles.


The municipality has a SUMP since 2009. We would like to improve this plan and to use it as a key document for the future development of the municipality. Our desire is to further improve the quality of life in our district and pursue its development in a sustainable and balanced way.

Improvements through ADVANCE

Through ADVANCE the municipality aims to evaluate its policy of mobility and to get to know best practices from others cities. We would like to identify fields of our policy that need to be improved, and hence, bring our contribution to a more sustainable mobility in the area of Brussels.

ADVANCE comes in addition to the project “Schaerbeek 2021”, the Agenda 21 of the municipality. It is intended to give a true and comprehensive vision of the future for Schaerbeek, tomorrow and until 2021. It defines thus the direction of the municipal policy for the forthcoming years by coordinating various measures.