The Neptunium swimming pool was threatened with closure. The residents of lower Schaerbeek and the users of the swimming pool handed a petition with 500 signatures to the town council, asking for the preservation of the swimming pool. The project aimed to protect the swimming pool and the art of Géo de Vlaemynck from closure, to ensure the future and redevelopment of the pool, to set up a plan for sustainable development for the infrastructure and to promote physical exercise through swimming.
Together with the residents, BHCR organised multiple diagnostic walkings, both with dry and wet feet (before and after changing), and set up information stands at the neighbourhood parties.
Volunteers carried out surveys among potential users of the pool, together with the Maisons Médicales in Schaerbeek and Jette and the social coordination services of Laeken and Schaerbeek.
Brussels Healthy City Region organised educational trips with visits to the pool and preparatory sessions for these visits. The residents visited four swimming pools in the Brussels region (Saint-Josse, Laeken, Brussels-City and Saint-Gilles) and in Roubaix and Ghent.
A two-day conference was held with all institutional actors involved: the Schaerbeek municipality, the sports and infrastructure section of COCOF, CRISP, CIBE, De Kriekelaar, Monuments & sites, [Laboratoire Intercommunal de Chimie et de Bactériologie http://www.licb.irisnet.be/FR/indexnl.htm], the director of the Association des Etablissements Sportifs, and was attended by the Ministers Kir and Grouwels.
Various trainings were organised: energy savings (solar panels - IBGE), water quality (chloramine - IBGE), institutional competences: local not-for-profit organisations (CRISP), financing (Beliris), economic development (Mission locale de Schaerbeek), heritage (Monuments et Sites).
The swimming pool is still in use and the number of visitors has increased by 20%. The users of Neptunium participate in the general assemblies and some of them are members of the board of ASBL Neptunium. Several important improvements were carried out in the swimming pool (water purification through ozone).
Neptunium received Beliris funding for a study in view of the specifications of the works to be carried out.
Neptunium has worked out proposals for the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development with regard to sports infrastructure.
Interactions with other projects in the neighbourhood
The Neptunium project has worked together closely with the Jerusalem neighbourhood development contract, the Maisons Médicales, the Royal Commission for Monuments and Sites for the preservation status of the pool, and the agreement and cooperation of Beliris (etc.).
In the future
Maintain the support of the local group until the refurbishment of the pool.
Analyse the survey results with scientific support by BHCR, and present the results to work out proposals in order to promote swimming.
Organise a second conference to present the whole approach and make it more visible.