The Municipality of Schaerbeek

From ‘city of donkeys’ to media municipality

Schaerbeek is Belgium’s sixth largest city in population terms. It is also the kingdom’s second ‘youngest’ municipality. More than 200 different nationalities live side by side in this historic city in the Brussels Region, and this makes it an extremely lively, dynamic place facing particularly important issues.

Though it was for a long time a sleepy place, it is now more than 20 years since Schaerbeek came to life. Today, it is experiencing unparalleled development in all areas. Its buildings, heritage and parks as well as the quality of its local communities make it a place where people’s quality of life has been preserved. Urban renewal has been a particular priority there, with a view to maintaining and even developing this diversity, which is rightly central to the city’s policies. However, the task remains enormous, because population growth, increased poverty and the local authorities’ reduced financial resources have been coupled with an increase in needs.


Nicknamed the ‘city of donkeys’ (for historical reasons), Schaerbeek has also become the city of schools and... the media city. Alongside the larger companies – RTBF, VRT, RTL/TVI, Be tv, VLAN and Belgacom – more than a hundred businesses of all sizes operating in the fields of broadcasting or IT are based in Schaerbeek, and more than a thousand professionals in these sectors have chosen to live there. This is why the mayor has been calling for 20 years for the development of Reyers, of the ‘fragment of city’ that is set to become, strategically located as it is at the gateway to Wallonia and Flanders, and near the European institutions, the airport and the city centre.