Antwerp Water Plan:

Ready for the future

Rainfall and periods of drought will have an impact on our living environment in the future; in drafting a Water Plan, the City of Antwerp is anticipating such developments. The Antwerp Water Plan provides a city-wide vision on water and offers practical solutions to again give water a place in the city and improve ‘water awareness’ among its inhabitants.

Antwerp wants to improve the integration of water into its cityscape and improve liveability and spatial quality in the city using integrated solutions to its water challenges. To help draft the Antwerp Water Plan, Witteveen+Bos collaborated with the Urbanisten and Common Ground firms and analysed the city from a historical and technical-hydrological perspective.

Vision with green-blue framework

Based on Witteveen+Bos’s analysis, a rainwater strategy was drawn up for Antwerp’s various water structures, with a selection being made of building blocks and design measures appropriate to each structure’s function.

A city-wide vision was also drafted containing a green-blue framework consisting of five structures which characterise Antwerp hydraulically and spatially: brook valleys and watercourses, the ‘mineral city’, the ‘ring park’, the ‘park wedge’, and ‘radical local’ structures.

The Water Plan was drafted during an intensive participatory process involving various workshops and meetings with the City of Antwerp, Waterlink/Aquafin, the Province of Antwerp and VMM. To test the resulting vision, case studies were conducted. For one such study in Stuivenberg, residents and local organisations were also involved in the workshops, ensuring a well-supported Water Plan.

Antwerp is being supported in implementing its Water Plan via an implementation strategy and a communication plan. A project map with prioritised Water Plan projects is offering assistance in this too.

Climate Proof Award

In May 2021 the Antwerp Water Plan was named winner of the Climate Proof Award, part of the Belgian Construction Awards. This honour is handed out by the ORI, the industry organisation for consultancy and engineering firms in Belgium. The ORI specifically honours projects with innovative and sustainable designs. It is also important that winning projects make a substantial contribution to mitigating climate change.

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Sofie Depauw