Buffer landscape Waaslandhaven

The longest and most ambitious linear landscape park in Flanders.
Beveren | BE
Port of Antwerp
2021 - 2023
11 km
landscape buffer, recreational and functional bike network, mountain bike tracks, horse riding tracks, walking network, nature compensation

As part of the complex project for additional container capacity in the Antwerp Port Area (ECA), an uninterrupted buffer is provided along the entire western side of the Waasland Port. The eleven-kilometre long buffer landscape reduces light and noise pollution from the Linkerschelde-oeverhaven to the polder. The new linear structure not only provides buffering, but also a landscape continuity that is accessible to local residents. With the new intervention, the existing recreational routes have been optimized and integrated into a new elongated network between port and polder.

The buffer landscape consists of three different dike types: the full, the half and the hollow dike. Because of the spatial challenges and the unstable existing soil at certain locations, a compact and light dike is necessary. That is why the type of ‘hollow’ dike has been developed: a nature-inclusive system with energy generation that easily adapts to the terrain profile and allows visitors to explore the landscape from a higher level. In addition, three important experience points have been incorporated: in the north, the head of Doel, a dike of at least 24.5m TAW high that buffers the new dock in relation to the village of Doel. On top of the slopes, recreational shared use is provided from mountain biking, horse riding and hiking to paragliding. At Hogendijk, the Polderheuvel rises, which functions as a new landmark for the area with spectacular views over the polder and harbour. In the south, the existing dike of the Spanish fort has been upgraded to a nature-inclusive mountain bike course.

The dikes are designed to accommodate fauna and flora, including the protected Argus butterfly. This buffer landscape functions as the face of the harbor on the polder side, and immediately forms the longest and most ambitious linear landscape park in Flanders.