Brussels ( Brussel in Dutch, German Brüssel in , Brussels in English) is the Capitale of the Belgium and the seat of the Gouvernement S and Parlement S of several of its federate entities (the Région of Brussels-Capital, the French Communauté of Belgium, the Communauté and the Flemish Région), as well as international organizations, of which NATO and many institutions of the European Union.
Under the terms of an exception of the French language, its name decides (the " x" " decides; ss"). Indeed the current orthography of the name comes from a practice of the Scribe S of the Moyen-âge, to replace the doubles " s" , as in Brussel , Brusselles , by a cross, which did not modify the pronunciation of it. This comparable cross with the " x" of the old Greek, " was not marked; ks" in French that as from the 18th century, without this modification not changing the use of Brussels.
Clarification of the terms
The Brussels term is used to indicate the commune itself (one speaks in this case about Brussels-city), including/understanding, in addition to the small belt, the districts of Laeken, Belliard-Law, the Louise avenue and the Wood, and which counts close to: 145000 inhabitants. But generally, “Brussels” indicates the Région of Brussels-Capital, which counts 19 communes on the whole (162 km ²) and more than one million inhabitants: it is one of the three federate areas of Belgium, the two others being Wallonia and the Flanders. A comparison with other common Belgians is possible in the list of the common most populated Belgians.
According to the constitution (Article 194), the “town of Brussels” (thus the commune of: 145000 inhabitants) is the capital of Belgium and the seat of the Government.
This page treats general aspects which relate to the whole of the urban entity. For the institutional aspects, refer you in the page Région of Brussels-Capital.
General informationIt is necessary to distinguish the agglomeration from Brussels, with the abstract geographical direction of the term, political and administrative divisions which recover zones of different extents:
On the one hand, the Area of Brussels-Capital, which gathers more: 1000000 inhabitants out of the 19 communes (on a surface of 161 km ²).
In addition, the commune called Brussels-city (: 145000 inhabitants) is one of the 19 communes of this Area. It occupies of it the historical center (sometimes called the pentagon ) girdled by the boulevards of the " small belt " , as well as the old communes of Laeken, Neder-over-Heembeek and Haren (amalgamated in 1921) in north, the districts European and Fiftieth anniversary in the east, the axis of the avenues Louise and Roosevelt and the Bois of in the south Cambers which were annexed to him.
For its functions of capital, it is not made of distinction between the city and the area.
The agglomeration of Brussels extends not only on the 19 communes from the Région from Brussels-Capital and their million from inhabitants, but beyond on a territory much larger covering on the whole approximately 520 km ² populated approximately 1,4 million inhabitants according to figures of the Belgian Federal state (the number being difficult to estimate, following the definitions extremely different from the geographers and with the absence of official institution since the resumption from competences of the old agglomeration by the area). Brussels-capital alone (that one can regard as it urban center with his 19 common) account a little more than one million inhabitants.
The zone of economic radiation of Brussels includes/understands most of the two provinces of the Brabant. It gathers the areas which are strongly dependant economically on the capital and represents approximately 2,5 million inhabitants. One estimates at: 350000 the number of navetteurs of Brussels.
It is generally allowed that Brussels is the greenest capital of Europe. It is also one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world.
Brussels is member of the Organization of the cities of the world heritage.
Brussels cash divides with Washington the title of city the most accredited journalists.
ClimateThe climate of the area of Brussels is a moderate Climat oceanic as for the whole of the Western part of the Belgium, that thanks to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean which controls time thanks to the calorific inertia of its water. The climate can be influenced by wetlands and soft coming from the ocean, but also by dry zones (hot in summer and cold in winter) coming from the interior of the European continent . On average (average made over one period covering the 100 last years), one observes per annum approximately 200 days of Pluie in the area of Brussels.
Multiple capital and world diplomatic centerBrussels is often described (with Strasbourg and Luxembourg) as capital of the European Union, although the Union does not have capital formally. Indeed, sit there of many European institutions, such as:
- the the Council of the European Union;
- the European commission;
- commissions of the the European Parliament and its additional sessions;
- the Committee of the areas;
- the European Council;
- the the Council of the Communes and areas of Europe;
- the Economic and Social Committee.
It is also in Brussels (Evere) that the seat of NATO is located.
Principal the international trade-union confederations has their seats there: the European Confederation of the trade unions (THESE), the international Confederation of the free trade unions (CISL) and the world Confederation of work (CMT).
The city accommodates also 120 international institutions, 159 embassies and more: 2500 diplomats, making of Brussels the second center of diplomatic relations in the world (after New York).
Lastly, Brussels does not count less: 1400 ONG.
Linguistic statuteIn Belgium, to describe the linguistic situation of Brussels, one often quotes the following formula: a French-speaking entity very mainly (to 90%) having a French/Dutch bilingual statute official. It is rather close to the reality of the linguistic statute in Brussels.
This bilingualism is before a a whole guarantee granted to the members of each speech community to be able to freely use its language in its relationship with the authorities (examples: administrative procedures, legal actions, constitution of an association,…). However, on the political plan, the parity could not be valid being given the small proportion of Dutch-speaking on the territory. For this level, it is advisable to distinguish the town of Brussels (Brussels-City) and the area of Brussels. The town of Brussels is a commune of the area of Brussels which in account a nineteen total. It is this city which is the capital of Belgium. The whole area is officially bilingual. Belgium being a Federal state, the Area has responsibilities which are expressly allocate to him and which are exerted by a government and a Parliament elected by the vote for all by the inhabitants of the Area in question. At the time them elections each one can vote freely for a French-speaking list or a Dutch-speaking list and this in the secrecy of the insulator. Of this organization, could have emerged a Parliament, and thus a government, in which the proportion the Dutch-speaking ones would be extremely weak. For political reasons and histories, the Constitution and the special laws taken under the terms of the Constitution established the following proportion: 72 French-speaking deputies and 17 Dutch-speaking deputies. This Parliament will designate the members of the government. That which will have obtained the most voice will be also minister-president (equivalent of a Prime Minister at the regional level). Among the four other ministers, there must there be two French-speaking people and two Dutch-speaking. In theory, the minister-president can be one or other linguistic membership but in the facts, it is always French-speaking. There are thus, within the Council of Ministers, three French-speaking people and two Dutch-speaking. At the communal level, the elections are done in Brussels as in any commune. Each inhabitant (Belgian or foreign residing on the communal territory) freely chooses to vote for the list which is appropriate to him, that it is French-speaking, Dutch-speaking or bilingual. The elected advisers will choose their aldermen (in the facts, there will be Dutch-speaking for nine French-speaking people) and their burgomaster (always French-speaking).
This bilingual statute, this protection brought to a minority is justified by the State in the following way: even if Brussels is mainly French-speaking, it is also the capital of a bilingual country.
With the ell of this argument of the State (which did not evoke the presence of a Flemish minority to make Dutch Co-official to Brussels, but rather the character binational of Belgium), it should be noted that in much of countries as much democratic than Belgium, the rate of 10% speakers of a language is not indeed always, in oneself, a sufficient reason to make official a minority language (what is Dutch in Brussels).
It is thus very often the political power struggle (rather than demographic) within a State or of a territory of this State which determines the official row or not language ( for example, to Montreal, article 1 of the Charter of the city-area devotes French as only official language whereas the rate of French-speaking people is " seulement" from 67%, to compare with the rate of 87% of French-speaking people in Brussels, city nevertheless devoted like officially bilingual ). However, démographiquement, the Flemings are majority at the national level (to 61%): by a relative political consensus, they often take the initiative in the institutional reforms and thus withdraw from it a political clout which very often enables them to obtain satisfaction in their claims, including for their Flemish linguistic minority in Brussels.
The bilingualism of Brussels is also explained by the history of this city. The first decades of the independence of Belgium, Dutch was not an official language in the country. This justified many inhabitants of the capital, from which the usual language resulted then from the brabançon, near to the Flemish , to start to speak French with their children in order to enable them to advance socially. Gradually, the city became almost entirely French-speaking, although many street names, common etc are of Flemish origin (Schaerbeek, Etterbeek, Molenbeek, etc), and although many of these French-speaking people have part of their Flemish roots.
Being very largely majority in Brussels, the French-speaking people often do not have (but not always) that a limited school knowledge of Dutch; on the other hand, the minority Flemings of Brussels are generally perfectly bilingual French Dutch/and do not hesitate to directly use French to communicate in the trade and other public places of the capital.
The Flemish partisans of the maintenance of bilingualism in the city and the Area of Brussels consider that the current linguistic statute of the capital is only the right reciprocity of the linguistic parity which exists at the federal level (50% of the Belgian ministers are French-speaking people whereas the French-speaking people account for 39% of the Belgian population). This parity does not exist however on the level of the Rooms. In order to justify the current statute of Brussels, certain Flemings also evoke the undeniable historical fact according to which, in the past, until the end of the 19th century, Brussels mainly of Flemish language is a city (more exactly of language brabançonne). At the beginning of the 20th century, the French language becomes majority. This tendency continues and develops during the following decades. With the French Flanders (of Bailleul to Dunkirk), Brussels is the only example of an accelerated and massive Francization, with XIXe and 20th centuries, in a territory of Flemish expression also populated.
The French-speaking partisans of a limitation of the bilingual statute of Brussels (but with wide rights for the linguistic minority) estimate, in what relates to them, that the linguistic power struggle is disproportionate in Brussels compared to what it is at the federal level, and which the bilingual mode in Brussels is unsuited, even unjust with regard to the French-speaking people. They insist on the fact that at the federal level, the rate of 39% of French-speaking people in Belgium is equitably comparable with the percentage of 50% French-speaking ministers, while, in the case of Brussels, the proportion the Dutch-speaking ones at the Parliament and especially with the government is definitely disproportionate compared to the 10% of the population which the Dutch-speaking ones in Brussels represent.
The debate is always in hand, but, at present, the status quo prevails as well at the federal level as at the level of Brussels. Some affirm that the questioning of the parity in Brussels would involve the same questioning of the linguistic parity within the federal government. To add to the complexity of this debate, it should be noted that some communes located around the area of Brussels (i.e. on the territory of the Flemish area) are mainly populated French-speaking people. A French-speaking claim is thus the widening of the area of Brussels which would cause, in particular, to create a common border, a corridor, between Wallonia and Brussels. The debate is in hand.
See also: History of Brussels
Brussels, which celebrated its millenium in 1979, has an animated history been dependant on that of the continent of Europe during the same time. Etymologiquement, the name of " Bruxelles" is explained in various ways, for the ones it would be of Flemish origin (" Broeksel") meaning as old Flemish " habitation" (salt) " marais" (" broek"), indeed, until voûtement of Seine in 1871 (river which crossed the center of the city of the South to North), Brussels was marshy and prone to periodic floods. According to others for which the primitive habitat of Brussels is located on the Mountain Saint-Michel, it would be of Celtic origin, the place having been inhabited well before the Franc S, and would have the same etymology as the town of Gaulle cisalpine “ Brixellum ”, current the Brescello, and derives from “briga” (height) and “concealed” (the temple), i.e. the temple on the height, as it is besides always the case of the Holy-Gudule cathedral.
EconomyThe saving in Brussels is dominated by activities in the service sector and of the public authorities. Its role of north-European commercial metropolis in fact also a big city of congress. Often, these activities are directly or indirectly dependant with the functions of capital of the Belgium and the European Union:
- Brussels being, inter alia, the seat of the European commission and the Conseil of the European Union, many are the administrative services which revolve around these two institutions. The the European Parliament also has its seat in Brussels for the extraordinary sessions and the commissions;
- NATO also has its seat in Brussels;
- ministries and institutions national Belgian, French-speaking, Flemish… ;
- head offices of the majority of the large Belgian society;
- regional and European seats of much of multinationals;
- consultancies, legal departments, as well as the many lobbys (lobbies) Belgian and European…;
- sector of hotel trade and leisures;
- air transport, truck driver…
For air transport, to also see the detailed article: International airports of Brussels
TGV Thalys connects Brussels to Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne, while TGV " classique" directly connect the metropolis to the French cities of south (Lyon, Marseilles, etc) the Eurostar connects Brussels to London. Lastly, the trains Eurocity Iris and Vauban connect Brussels respectively to Zurich and with Brigue, all both via Metz, Strasbourg and Basle. Brussels is served by several Gare S:
- most important for the passenger traffic is on the Jonction North-Midday; all the Train S national travellers starting from Brussels stop there:
- Gare of the South (principal international station, served by the TGV Brussels-France, the Eurostar, the Thalys, ICE)
- Central station
- Gare of North
- the junction North-Midday comprises two more other stations, of minor importance:
- Brussels-Congress (under the administrative Quoted)
- the other stations important is in the district of the European institutions, the trains in direction of Namur and Luxembourg stops there:
- Station of Brussels-Luxembourg (in the past District Léopold)
- Station of Brussels-Schuman
- and also:
- Gare of Etterbeek
- Gare of Boitsfort
- Halte of Boondael (in Ixelles)
- Gare of Watermael
- Gare of Schaerbeek
- Gare of Throws
- Gare of Bockstael (in Laeken, in correspondence with the subway)
- Gare of Berchem-Holy-Agathe
- Gare of Haren-South
- Gare of Haren
- Gare of Bordet
- Gare of Evere
- Gare of Meiser
- Gare of Merode (near the fiftieth anniversary, in correspondence with the subway)
- Gare of Delta (in Auderghem, near the Universit3e libre de Bruxelles, in correspondence with the subway)
- Haltes of Saint-Job and Moensberg, both in Uccle
- Gare of Uccle-Stall
- Gare of Uccle-Calevoet
- Gare of Forest-Midday (close to the Volkswagen Factories)
- Gare of Forest-Is (close to the concert hall to Forest-National)
There exists a project of the RER having to bring an answer to the big problems of mobility encountered by the city. This project implies the creation of new stagnation points: the Station of the West and Simonis, in correspondence with the subway; the halt of Germoir with Etterbeek and the station of the Arcades with Watermael, the halt of the Goose Fish pond with Uccle, a stop with height of CERIA in Anderlecht and other stops which should be born front, during and after the installation of the RER. The city is surrounded by three concentric peripheral main roads:
- the Boxing ring : peripheral Highway circumventing the urban center of Brussels;
- the large belt : boulevards (stopped in the south with the Wood of Cambers);
- the small belt : series of tunnels and fast tracks encircling the downtown area completely, following the layout of a medieval wall as soon as one crossed only to the eight doors remained famous: doors of Namur, Hall, Anderlecht, Flanders, Shore, Laeken, Schaerbeek and Leuwen.
The urban transport is ensured by a dense network of trams on the surface and undergrounds, and bus. Three lines of Métro also serve the city: the two first (lines 1A and 1B) cross the capital of is in west; the third (line 2) follows the way of the small belt . It should be noted that a fourth line (line 3), connecting the station of North to the station of the South and being prolonged to the station Albert, is exploited with underground trams (" Prémétro "). The subway of Brussels account 69 stations.
Brussels is also served by two airports:
- the Airport of Brussels; several trains and buses per hour connect it to Brussels;
- the Airport of Charleroi Brussels-South, specialized in the companies at low prices; the airport is connected to Brussels by road shuttles.
- the Town square and the Town hall.
- the royal Galleries Saint-Hubert (oldest covered shopping malls of Europe: they shelter luxury trades and a famous bookstore).
- the Fine sand (district of the antique dealers).
- the district of the Maroilles cheese and its famous flea market, on the place of the Play of Ball. The district is dominated by the imposing building of the Law courts to which it is connected by a modern elevator. There the church of the Vault is where Bruegel is buried.
- the Manneken Worse (and Jeanneke Worse, its female counterpart, less visited).
the Small island Crowned , district protected in north from the Town square.
- the Cathedral Saint-Michel-and-Gudule.
- the Notre-Dame church of Fine sand, the church of the Vault, Béguinage, the House of Bellone, the church Saint-Handlebar…
- the Royal place, near the Palais Royal, of the museum of the musical instruments and the museums of old and contemporary arts.
- the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Koekelberg.
- the Park of Brussels, between the Palais Royal and Parliament.
- the Louise avenue and the Door of Namur: cinemas, luxury trades…
- the houses " Art Nouveau" (Ambiorix public garden, which occurred L. Bertrand…)
- the Park of the Fiftieth anniversary, where one finds the mosque of Brussels, the museum of the car, the royal Musées of art and history and the Royal Musée of the Army and the Military History.
- the District Léopold, where are located the majority of the European Institutions and the Parc Léopold
- the park of Laeken: field of 160 hectares gathering the Castle of Laeken (remains Belgian sovereigns), the royal greenhouses, the Japanese tower and the Chinese house.
- Bruparck : old site of the World Fair of 1958, become a zone of leisures where are joined together celebrates it Atomium, the exhibition site, the park “mini-Europe”, a cinematographic complex, the stage King Baudouin (in the past Heysel) and the planetarium.
Art and Culture
Town planning and architecture in BrusselsBrussels is an extended city, space available per capita exceeds the average of the other European capitals. A big part of the frame is composed of one-family houses, now divided into apartments, and of buildings low height. In this urban landscape rise however modern high-rise office buildings (Tour of the South, Tour Madou, Tour Dexia, Tours Belgacom, Tour of Finances, WTC, etc), concentrated in the districts of businesses of the city: Northern District (located beside the Station of North and called the small Manhattan ), European district, which occurred Louise. Many parks mark out the city. The proportion of green areas also important although is unequally distributed. The gardens deprived in interior of small island are numerous.
The city counts many remarkable buildings in a great diversity of styles, medieval constructions with the contemporary architecture.
Starting from the end of the 19th century a new architectural style appears, the Art nouveau whose Brussels will become one of the capitals thanks to works of architects of reputation of which most famous are: Victor Horta, Paul Hankar and Henry Van de Velde, also inter alia: Paul Cauchie, Gustave Strauven, Ernest Blerot, Josef Hoffmann (Palate Stoclet), Leon Delune, Paul Hamesse and well of others.
After the First World War, the destruction as well as the demographic strong growth due to the surge of new inhabitants come from the other areas of the country causes a housing shortage and a fast extension of the area of construction. It is the beginning of constructions of social housing and garden cities in periphery of the agglomeration of then. (`' to see: Garden city in Brussels'').
, the Area is built in 44.5%, Seuls 6% of the territory consists of arable lands, grazing grounds, meadows, orchards 936,71 6%, water covering only 1% of the territory.
The rates of vegetable Cover and Espaces nature are more important in periphery where they limited the Périurbanisation capital, but they strongly decrease towards the center of Brussels: 10% of the pentagon, 30% of the 1 crown and 71% of the 2 crown are green areas!
The Area, the City and IBGE want to make easier and more equitable the access and to the related services with the Environnement (Déchetterie S, Assainissement) and with the green areas. One of the means used is the “ green Maillage and blue ” which aims at increasing the number and the interconnection of the green areas.
Green GridConstituted of a green Screen supplemented " green continuities " ; it is the axis of coherence of the environmental policy. Initiated in 1996, it was registered in 1999 in the Regional plan of Assignment of the Grounds (PRD).
the green screen is a continuous network of public green areas obtained by systematic becoming green of spaces structuring (under alignments of trees, on turfed lines of tram, banks of the channel including paysagement entries of city.
" green continuities " are sites of landscape, social and/or ecological interests, given as much as possible in physical continuity between them and/or with the screen to offer to a whole an access more equal to the verdurized zones and the public green areas, while facilitating a soft mobility (walk, bicycle, rollers…). The “holes” of the grid must be filled by creation of public parks (firstly where there are less 1m ² of green areas/inhabitant), and by a verdurisation, with entertaining vocation and of green walk in second crown.
Des green continuities inter-connects the green areas by vegetalized connections, being the object of a differentiated Gestion to confer certain functions of biological Corridors to them (for the maintenance and the mobility of fauna and the flora savages and of a minimal biodiversity, via in particular the slopes of and bank railroad of river, which is often difficult because of the urban pressure, the luminous Pollution and a search for multi-functionality including circulation pedestrian and cyclist.
Des " green zones of high biological value " were charted in the Années 2000, with an ecological role growing given to the " zones of park " , and a framework legal with the differentiated Management. Various installations were initiated (of which new footbridges for soft displacements) of 1999 to 2007, but no large écoduc was arranged.
The communes are invited to produce a communal grid to be connected to the regional grid, in particular in the " zones of priority turning green " , of center town. The turning green of the walls and roofs is encouraged.
Complements with the " green Grid "They are the " green Walk , the " Network of regional cycle Routes ” (ICR), a network of " Paths of Great Excursion " and " Ways of the City " , as of the ways of discovered Forest of Look after and other solid masses. They are also the axes of " soft mobility " , including on 14 routes ( radial ) in the course of verdurisation and of ramification in periphery of Brussels. These axes seek to contribute, to a certain extent, to decrease the Fragmentation écopaysagère in connecting green big spaces of the periphery to those of the downtown area and the outside of the Area Brussels-Capital.
The Forest of Look after and the Bois of Laerbeek must be the subject of a more ecological management. the Forêt of Look after is located to 38% in Area of Brussels, which explains an important frequentation approximately (: 30000 people/day, by good weather). Circulation is regulated there. " natural reserves " partially enclosed and prohibited with the public species vulnerable disturbance and/or to trampling shelter there. " forest reserves " are managed more ecologically and " zones of protection" make the object of plantations or regeneration on fragile sites or ranges.
Invasive and/or exotic speciesLike other areas of Europe, the Marronnier S are victims of the mineuse caterpillar Cameraria ohridella appeared in 2000, and of a bacterium responsible for a bacterial Chancre of the chestnut tree, fatal disease which one cannot look after yet. Parakeets thrive while being heated the winter on electric transformers or standard lamps, and many plants come from all the continents can be found in Brussels.
Famous inhabitants of Brussels
- François d' Aguilon (1567-1617), Jesuit, mathematician, optician, architect.
- Chantal Akerman (1950 -), scenario writer
- Jules Anspach (1829-1879), burgomaster of 1863 to 1879, especially known to have achieved voûtement of the Seine and the boring of the central boulevards, but also to have embellished Brussels by the construction of the Stock Exchange, the Park of the Fiftieth anniversary, the Law courts, etc
- Plastic Bertrand (1958 -), singer
- Jacques Brel (1929-1978), singer, actor and realizer, who composed a song on this city
- Charles bulldozers, burgomaster of 1881 to 1889, known for its policy of safeguarding and restoration of the inheritance of Brussels and defense of public education
- Annie Cordy (1928 -), singer, actress
- Lara Fabian (1970 -), singer
- Jacques Feyder (1885-1948), realizer
- Franquin (1924-1997), draftsman born in Etterbeek, father of Gaston Lagaffe.
- Philippe Geluck (1954 -), draftsman of the Cat
- Michel de Ghelderode (1898-1962), dramatic author
- Hergé ( Georges Remi ) (1907-1983), draftsman of Cartoon (Tintin and Milou and OJ, Zette and Jocko)
- Victor Horta (1861-1947), architect Art nouveau (was born in Ghent but dies in Brussels where it will leave the essence of his works).
- Jacky Ickx (1945 -), racing driver
- David Joris (1501-1556), anabaptist
- Maurane (1960 -), singer
- Amélie Nothomb (1967 -), writer (born in Japan)
- Peyo (pseudonym of Pierrot Culliford) (1928-1992), draftsman of Cartoon (Schtroumpfs, Johan and Pirlouit, Benoit Brisefer and Poussy)
- Joseph Poelaert (1817-1879), architect (royal Church of Laeken, Column of the Congress, Theater of the Currency, Palate of Justice…)
- Pierre Rapsat (1948-2002), singer
- François Schuiten (1956 -), draftsman
- Toots Thielemans (1922 -), harmonicist of Jazz, whistling, guitarist
- Jean-Philippe Toussaint (1957 -), writer and scenario writer, author To flee, the Bathroom or Television
- Jose van Prejudice (1940 -), singer low baritone, present on the largest international scenes
- Jean-Claude Van Rams (1960 -), actor
- André Vésale (1514-1564), anatomist and doctor
- Michel Weyland (1947 -), draftsman and scenario writer of Cartoon ( Aria )
- Yslaire (1957 -), draftsman and scenario writer
- Sister Emmanuelle (1908 -), humanistic nun, écrivaine and
- Jean-Baptiste Madou (1796-1877), painter, illustrator.
- Town of Brussels: Of mouths to the Michel saint of gold embanking the demon of sand
- Area of Brussels-Capital: Of azure to the iris of the gold marshes
- the United States: Atlanta, Georgia
- Germany: Berlin
- China: Beijing
- China: Macao
- Spain: Madrid
- the United States: Washington, D.C
- Ukraine: Kiev
- Netherlands: Breda
- : Prague
- : Ljubljana
- Morocco: Casablanca
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