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Leopold II Tunnel to be renamed after a woman once renovation work has been completed

Brussels’ longest road tunnel, the Leopold II Tunnel that carries traffic under the Brussels inner ring road in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek and Koekelberg, is to be given a new name once renovation work on the tunnel has been completed. The tunnel will be renamed after a woman. The overground section of the inner ring road than runs over the top of a large portion of the tunnel will still be called the Leopold II laan. The renaming of the tunnel is part of a wider project by the regional authorities in Brussels to get more streets, tunnels and other public areas named after women. 

Just 6% of streets and tunnels that are named after a person are named after a woman. The current socialist, green, Flemish liberal and Francophone federalist coalition that makes up the Brussels-Capital Region’s regional government believes that there is room for improvement and that women should be better represented in the names given to streets and tunnels.

The Brussels regional minister responsible for equal opportunities and women’s rights Elke Van den Brandt’s (Flemish green) spokesman Pieterjan Desmet told the Brussels regional news platform Bruzz “We are going to get around the table with community group and the Equal Opportunities for Women Commission to draw up a list of potential female names for the tunnel. Then everyone in Brussels will be able to vote for what they believe to be the most worthy name for the tunnel”.

The initiative is part of a wider plan by the Brussels regional government to name more streets after women. The “pilot project” to rename the Leopold I Tunnel will be assessed next year.

“In 2021 we will carry out an assessment. If the project is a success we will put into law so that it can be applied whenever we change the name of other streets”. Mr Desmet added.

A list with the proposed new names for the tunnel will be published soon.

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