Bruges: King Albert I-park: integrating retrofitted storm water management with public park and city-wide water system improvements
A part of the King Albert I-park will be retrofitted and integrated in the historic context of the area, providing the opportunity to resolve problems of storm water storage and water quality. The pilot site is located in a very sensitive historic area. Flooding of the drainage system causes sewage overflows, which damages water quality in the canals. This redevelopment offers an opportunity to pilot solutions to this issue so the whole city and its historic canals benefits.
Shallow water and the large temperature fluctuations in the canals result in de-oxygenation and simply dredging is not an option. This small water column is historic, it cannot be enlarged given the stability of the banks and the historical framework of the water. But by deepening a part of the Kapucijnenrei, installing a sustainable fountain for aerating the water, introducing extra oxygen at the start of the canals and creating an additional buffer of 400 m3 water, the water quality of the Bruges canals can be improved significantly.
Like this the water coming from the Ghent Canal enters Bruges via the Kapucijnenrei, gets extra oxygen and a good flow from the new fountain and pumps in King Albert I park and flows via the Bruges canals to the Ostend canal, improving water quality throughout the canal network.
Good quality water full of oxygen flowing through the Bruges canals will create additional benefits. The design of the retrofitted King Albert I park wants to bring clean water closer to the people living in and visiting Bruges. It will strengthen the relationship with the Kapucijnenrei and the other canals by making water more visible and to introduce the water into the park. Besides the fact that the fountain is a meeting place, installing the fountain is also an action to reduce temperature in the city as a cooling place during hot summer days.