Kustvisie, or Coastal Vision, is a long-term strategy to protect the Belgian coastline. In a two-year process we successfully brought together over 100 professional stakeholders to define this defence strategy. Starting with a wide range of alternatives we ultimately ended with two strategies that have corresponding roadmaps.
Kustvisie is the first national scale, long-term strategy for sea-level rise protection and climate change adaptation with an economic and community enhancement plan. The project was in collaboration with members of the Hoogtij(d) consortium and the department Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken, Agentschap Maritieme Dienstverlening en Kust and a multitude of stakeholders.
ORG engaged our co-creation methodology and led a team with stakeholders across a variety of sectors. We looked into many possible future scenarios, and communicated them through accessible representation to the stakeholders. This process allows us to tackle the uncertainties, which are characteristic of long-term projects.
Through intensive design research, we’ve been able to develop long-term spatial strategies for the entire coast exploring coastal resiliency alongside opportunities for touristic, ecological and economical development. Together we reshape and combine scenarios to come up with a successful, scientifically proven and supported coastal protection strategy.
The result is a flexible and adaptive strategy, that allows the coastal communities to slowly develop with sea level rise, remaining safe and dry while identifying future opportunities for development along the coast, thereby strengthening the ecologic, touristic and economic potential. This is the Ribbon concept. A narrow strip on the interface between the sea and the land where safety measures such as dikes, dunes or storm walls should be applied. The ribbon is a flexible space, future generations can adapt and update the ribbon based on their needs and priorities.
The determination was that building the coastal ribbon can be done following 2 possible strategies:
On Site: using the existing available space along the coast. Current beaches and dunes need to be adapted to remain safe.
Seaward: shifting the current coastline into the sea, creating a more generous space for new dikes or dune belts.
The first phase has now been successfully completed. We look forward to the next stages with this incredible team and the public so that we can establish the most desirable proposals. During the next stage the plan will be developed into a legally binding zoning plan for the coast.
An official brochure detailing the project has been published by the Flemish Government. Read it here.
Belgian coast, Belgium
2022 - present
Public Space, Infrastructure, Landscape, Spatial Analysis and Planning