The Belgium Design Council finally got around to presenting our BIDs Brussels and Beyond project that we have been working on for over a year now. The presentation took place in the evening of Wednesday April 20th.
Held in the wonderful central location of Muntpunt. We were lucky to have the incredible hospitality shown by Jurgen Waegemans, of this amazing Library. It will no doubt be the start of what will become a wonderful collaboration with Muntpunt. After a few conversations with Jurgen, it was clear with the community approach the BDC takes, is very much in line with the some of the existing community spirit and values, that this venue stands for. We are thankful to Muntpunt’s hospitality and incredible support to make sure the evening went smoothly.
Lucky enough to be presenting in the ‘De Wolken’ auditorium, or ‘mini cinema’, with a welcome reception just outside the auditorium. The set up was indeed welcoming, with the bar and snacks, with offering the ‘Belgian Experience’ of the beverages and of course the delightful Belgian chocolates.
With a good crowd gathering ranging from representatives from Brussels City, to Retail Store Managers, Retail journalists, Architectural companies, local commerce Association representatives, professionals in Change Management to members of our community, we were ready to go!
The presentation from Rozina Spinnoy, was explaining the introduction of the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), with showcasing some of the examples of what has been achieved in the UK, from the various BIDs that have been realised. Research and various statistics showing the monetary and environmental advantages that have been gained from implementing these BIDs. The benefits for the Commerce, Consumer and residents, with having this Community spirit and framework in place was clear.
The proposal being a similar basic structure to be created here in Brussels, along with a Belgian and EU platform at a later stage. With emphasis on ‘scaling’ up to include social innovation and taking the wider community into account with using technology, creativity, innovation, inclusion and design thinking into the equation.
A lively interactive audience participated in the discussions. Audience members challenged and had questions, ranging from the role of the community participation in the BIDs, to how to deal with the issues of investors purchasing properties, which are left unused in the local shopping centres. Interesting questions, which were given responses, which only emphasised the overall need for collaborative discussions from stakeholders and the community, involved in these ‘zones’ and Business Improvement Districts can at least assist and address.
Indeed these and many more questions will arise, we are sure. One thing we are indeed sure of – the emphasis of working together as a ‘community’ towards the same vision, taking responsibility and taking a sense of ownership, creating an identity and being involved, definitely has it’s advantages.
We have always taken a ‘collaboration with all’ attitude and when the local BIDs City representatives are indeed ready, we hope they do jump on board to support, contribute and believe in the framework that we will create and implement, with those who are now willing to move forward.
The Belgium Design Council, has been driving the BIDs Brussels and Belgium project, so far. Now these will become separate entities with becoming non-profit organisations and the websites and logo/branding is underway. We will also keep up the communication with other BID cities and countries, of whom have been very supportive to our citizen driven initiative. It’s thanks to the UK based BIDs for sharing their successes and projects with us. The collaborations will continue, to further share best practices and create with our national counterparts, the European platform. We will keep you updated on the progress of this of course.
The presentation started with a ‘feel good’ video that we have the pleasure to end this update on. This concept was to ‘create, connect and collaborate’ with local talent of our friends at Production Cap, with our City of Brussels and most of all with the people..Enjoy!