Friday, July 15, 2011


I am glad to see that Urbanists have minted a word to describe the sense of horror and squalor you have while walking in some streets of Bruxelles:

If you go to any other Belgian city, you feel the beauty, the poetry and harmony of the pristine medieval settings.

Here in Bruxelles in the 1960-1970 they covered everything with concrete. Attila would not have done a better job at making sure no grass grows here.

This is Brussels at its best: concrete, grey, dirt, squalor, desert.

I have heard that Amsterdam was about to follow the same destiny, with bulldozers knocking down 400 years old quarters to replace them with concrete blocks and parking lots; but the Dutch people rioted against the speculators, and after many clashes with Police the speculators had to abandon their plans. Kudos, Dutchmen!

The result is that Amsterdam is one of the main tourist destinations in Europe, while Bruxelles is a city where only students and immigrants live, record-high crime and curfew after 7pm. Most Belgians come here only to work, and commute back to a better place to live.

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