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Published on 12-01-2023

Selected For Water Masterplan Oude Landen Antwerp

From a technical management issue to a steering mechanism for urban and social development

Team Felixx, Deltares and Delbaere Consulting are commisioned by the city of Antwerp to develop a masterplan for the water system of Oude Landen. This stream landscape is one of the priority project areas within the Antwerp Water Plan. The masterplan broadens the water task: from a technical management issue to a steering mechanism for urban and social development. The river basin as a spatial carrier gains meaning by interweaving it with all systems in the area. Nature Based Solutions (NBS) are able to spatially link these systems into a multifunctional landscape. The water masterplan will be developed in 2023 and will create the spatial framework for current and upcoming projects in the area.

Oude Landen is characterized by strong, historical and natural water structures. Over the years, these have been affected in various places, resulting in flooding and desiccation. The project area consists of nature reserves, residential areas, railway routes and historic castle parks. There are important flood-prone areas and various projects are underway. The master plan makes the water system the spatial bearer of Oude Landen. Individual landscape structures are connected to an integral natural system, and the water issue is linked to the other agendas. In order to realize this transition, efforts are being made to achieve a renewed balance in the natural water system.

Nature Based Solutions are measures and strategies for (re)designing the city, based on natural principles. By applying and switching these strategies, a city can (again) become part of the natural system of which it is part. As a result, a city no longer needs to take measures to protect itself against natural forces, but can make use of them; albeit in a controlled manner. Nature Based Solutions make it possible to create environments that serve multiple purposes. An urban area as an ecosystem is based on soil and climate, organizes water management and offers space for flora and fauna. Furthermore it provides all kinds of linkage opportunities, also referred to as 'ecosystem services'. These are the many and diverse benefits to humans that a natural environment and a healthy ecosystem provide.

In recent years, Felixx has developed into an expert in the field of Nature Based Solutions. Deltares is a global leader in applied research into the water and soil system in the field of Building with Nature programmes. Felixx and Deltares have previously worked together successfully on various climate adaptation projects. Ecological advice for the master plan is provided by Delbaere Consulting.

* Process drawing by Team Felixx, Deltares and the city of Antwerp, © Felixx
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