Herbert Hooverplein | Belgium

Client: Stad Leuven
Location: Leuven
Architect : West 8
Contractor: Krinkels

The Herbert Hooverplein is a public square located in the city centre of the Belgian city of Leuven. In 1938 the square was named after Herbert Hoover. The president of the United States was chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium almost twenty years before his presidency. Since the introduction of the traffic circulation plan in 2016, traffic on the square has been replaced by pedestrians providing an entirely new perception. The Herbert Hooverplein will therefore be given a new look that fits in with its new function, with meeting places, greenery and benches. The trees have received special attention within the plan because they play such a prominent role in the new square.

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Herbert Hooverplein becoming a cosy and green meeting place in the city centre of Leuven, Belgium

Challenge
A tree grows best in non-compacted soil. Previously, trees stood in lawns where they grew well. With trees in public spaces you have to deal with compacted ground beneath the pavement. A lack of space is also a major problem in the urban environment. The place that is available is almost always crossed by all kinds of cables and pipes.

Solution
The TreeParker system ensures that the roots do not grow upwards and do not push up the square’s pavement. The root guidance panels guide the roots into the soil and give them all the space they need to grow. Also, relocating cables is not necessary when using the TreeParker.

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Outcome
The renovated Herbert Hooverplein in the centre of Leuven has been transformed into a cosy and green meeting place for residents, students and tourists. The square connects the city park with Ladeuzeplein and the University Library. The row of trees in the city park was extended into the Hooverplein, creating a kind of connection with that park. TreeParker's tree-growing sites have been placed along the entire length of the square. The tree bunker system protects both the trees and the square. The square is approximately 100 metres long and is finished with paving stones and concrete.

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