A Gradual Transformation of the Coast
Vlaamse Baaien 2100 was a research project that considered the effects of constructing a series of artificial islands in the North Sea along the Flemish/Belgian coast. The islands would address coastal safety, nature, durability, and development. As the coast is susceptible to flooding from storms, due to its low elevation, and sea levels are projected to rise, the islands could serve as a proactive strategy to prevent potential ecological and economic destruction. The research considered utilizing sandbanks and beaches that flood at spring tide, with occasional reinforcements against erosion. These lands would be dynamic ecosystems of water and land.
The proposed islands could be devoted to natural reserves and sanctuaries for migrating birds and seals with additional innovative developments, including nature-based tourism. Constructed dunes on the islands would offer an undulating landscape that protects nature while housing dune villages or ‘duindorpen’, potentially holding up to 2000-3000 inhabitants. The duindorpen would only be accessible by boat.
The new islands are North Sea-specific: they work with morphological and tidal erosion logic and provide a soft, broad barrier to storm energy rather than a thin, hard, concrete wall.
North Sea, Belgium
2009 - 2010
35 square miles
Commercial, Public Space, Infrastructure, Landscape
DEME, Jan De Nul Group, ARCADIS, IMDC
Urbanism, Feasibility study
Alexander D’Hooghe, Andrew Corrigan, Michiel De Potter, Oliver Wuttig, Wim François
The International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC)