Rural

Hoofdthemas

Zwin

ContextProject
City: Knokke-Heist (BE)Realisation: 2019
Area (m3):Area: rural
Inhabitants:Design:
Density:              Cost:

The Zwin area offers a unique opportunity to test solutions that make better use of the natural environment in rural coastal areas. As a result of climate change, silting is seriously threatening the tidal marches, impacting both ecology and the drainage capacity of the Zwin area.

Large-scale infrastructural measures could provide solutions to these challenges. These solutions are often expensive and severely impact the original characteristics of the landscape.

A landscape-led approach, however, could strengthen the connectivity of environmental networks and protect and enhance rural characteristics. Part of this involves making green infrastructure an integral part of the design, providing a rich variety of benefits to adapt to climate change and reduce the flood risk.

For the Zwin area a landscape-led design approach would increase the drainage capacity and allow discharge within the current spatial possibilities of the area. To obtain an optimal level control function (balance nature, agriculture, housing) adjustments will be made at various locations in the project area – the Zwinnevaart.

This will increase the availability of freshwater into the area, avoiding the silting of agricultural land in the vicinity of the Zwin. In addition, complementing these watercourses with additional green infrastructure following the principles of landscape-led design, will also lead to avoiding an excessive peak flow increase in the coastal zones.

Darent Valley

ContextProject
City: Kent (UK)Realisation: 2020
Area (m3):Area: urban fringe
Inhabitants:Design:
Density:              Cost:

The Kent Downs pilot (Darent Valley) is situated in the outskirts of London. The area once flooded on a regular basis from the sea, but is now largely protected and has a rich wildlife. This pilot tests the hypothesis that the Landscape-Led Design approach can help address issues of climate change and heavy rainfall – instead of the traditional hard engineering response.

Initial work in the Darent Valley includes utilising updated flow models (UK Environment Agency) and revise the innovative Darent Valley Strategic Landscape Enhancement Plan based on these models. It is anticipated that these measures will include:

  • the removal or adaptation of ‘in stream’ structures such as weirs and sluices
  • naturalising the river by restoring meanders and narrowing of the channel
  • creating or restoring water meadow systems and flood meadows to slow flows
  • undertaking appropriate planting to slow surface run-off and increase aquifer recharge
  • adapting land management and habitat restoration practices on valley sides that may otherwise have a negative effect on climate resilience (e.g. increasing surface flow)