The European Week of Regions and Cities is held every year for four days with the aim of publicizing good practices and expertise in regional and urban development in the member countries of the European Union, as well as publicizing the evolution of the EU's cohesion policy.
EWRC is four days full of simultaneous activities. The journalists started the day early and finished it very late. There will be time to sleep after the event. Four days running from room to room, flying between the corridors. With a special program for young journalists who are invited through a contest. Weeks before, young journalists have to send an article that talks about a project financed with European funds. The best ones are invited to cover this event and write for the official website.
Within this program, one of the activities was to visit "Abattoir", a good example of the success that link between public administration and the private sector can have. Abattoir is one of the Belgian projects that in recent years has received more funding from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).
Abattoir is characterized by being innovative, sustainable and having a social and environmental impact. A good example of urban agriculture, how to transform the environment in a city and collaborate with neighbors.
Since its first use in 1890, this point in Brussels, in the municipality of Anderlecht, has experienced the changes of history and has known how to adapt to each era. Your entry continues with the two original bulls, which is on the list of monuments and protected sites next to its gigantic room.
"Abattoir" is translated into English as "slaughterhouse". Currently has a more ecological and social function. With a long-term plan for the future, the restoration of this space has received a European grant for being able to transform commercial temporary market places into a more permanent space.
It has a space focused on the laboratory of ideas, where right now is "Le champignon de Bruxelles" ("Brussels mushrooms"), a cooperative that produces mushrooms with beer, following a circular economy model and achieving exotic flavors in the product final. In addition to being able to use the product, after a process, as a construction material.
"Abattoir" has a vision of sustainable social and economic development from which everyone can benefit, both merchants and neighbors. They hope that the number of entrepreneurs and innovative ideas that want to use the space and have common objectives will grow.
On Wednesdays in the open room of Abattoir, there is a market at noon in which workers are people with problems of social integration, such as immigrants or people with disabilities. Another building houses the food market on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On the roof of this market are greenhouses, orchards, solar panels and a fish farm.
Everything they produce they do without chemicals and they sell it locally. Their objective is to continue this way, as they are committed to responsible consumers who prefer zero-kilometer products. They hope that by 2035, agriculture in the center of the city will produce 30% of the unprocessed fruits and vegetables consumed by residents of the region.