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From grey to green: transformation of the Drongenplein in Ghent

The Drongenplein in Ghent has emerged as a captivating green space full of meeting spots and recreational items. The redesign of the square is the outcome of a design study that aimed to honor the location’s functionality and aesthetic expectations. Sweco collaborated on all the sub facets of this multidisciplinary project.

A glimps of history

Drongenplein has been thoughtfully redesigned to become a vibrant center that accommodates traders, preserves cultural heritage, and offers moments of leisure. The area by the trees used to be a car park and also served as a marketplace and fairground. These functions may remain in the new design, which includes a gravel lawn to preserve the square’s functionality.

At the heart of this transformation lies the Old Abbey of Drongen, its square carefully redesigned to embrace and enhance its lush charm: a protected row of lime trees steals the spotlight. The square, now decorated with a glass shelter, numerous seating areas, and a permanent stage, becomes a cultural hub—a space where heritage and contemporary vibrancy come together.

Land meets water

But this revitalization isn’t confined to land. As part of the project, the Belgian army disassembled the temporary bridge after 6 years, unveiling the picturesque waterfront again. A new viewing platform near the Lys river offers a stunning view while a wooden play area is available for kids and adults alike. For those who like to be near the water, the Old Abbey side features a new staircase that leads to the water’s edge.

Nature and culture side by side

Drongenplein is not just an ordinary square; it is a well-balanced combination of nature, culture, and history in the process of redevelopment. This revitalized space is a perfect example of where nature and culture meet, and every turn is an opportunity to discover a story of community spirit and transformation.

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