“Brussels needs 9 open air pools, not none”
Brussels is one of the few capital cities with no opportunities for outdoor swimming. Paul Steinbrück, who took the initiative for the “Pool is Cool” project, says Brussels needs nine open air pools, while none are currently available. As a result youngsters from Brussels are obliged to head elsewhere for a swim.
Some people try the canal. It’s not allowed and above all highly polluted, but some Brussels youngsters see no alternative in the hot weather.
Brussels politicians have been discussing the need for an open-air pool for years, but with little headway. Last year, in the summer months, Pool is Cool opened a pop-up swimming pool alongside the canal in Anderlecht. Flow will be open this year too.
“300 people a day can swim here” explains Paul. “The maximum is 30 at the same time. This is a city with a population of 1.2 million…”
“Our project shows it’s feasible. It can be managed and be done safely”.
“When we started Pool is Cool, we never imagined we would have to run a pool ourselves. We believed we could show the need and politicians would act. Reality turned out differently.”
Some projects are in the pipeline like the swimming pond at Neerpede in Anderlecht. This will open in 2024 at the earliest.
Flow opens on 1 July. The pool is already being filled. It’s not cheap and will cost the organisation 200,000 euros this summer. There is no entrance fee. Flow has several sponsors and also gets grants from the Brussels and Flemish governments.