Mechelen: Adapting historic waterways for regeneration and storm water management.
The historic course of the River Dijle is now a canal through in the city centre, connected to the new river channel around the city, which is tidal. The canal has potential to store storm water and reduce flooding in the city as climate change causes more rainfall in the future. Regeneration of the canal for storm-water storage will also allow greening of the banks, landing places for tourist boats, and an improved city centre environment.
In this project the river under the parking lot ‘Zandpoortvest’, next to the ring road of the historic city, will be opened up. Historic creeks (Zandpoortvest) are re-opened to increase storm water storage capacity, with drainage reconfigured to prevent pollution. Therefore the brook ‘Melaan’ between the Zakstraat and Muntstraat will be opened again.
The river Dijle will be regenerated, so allowing the water level to be optimised (e.g. lowered) and give this water course it’s natural drainage function again. Historic quay walls (public and private), bounding the historic river, are inadequately adapted to changing water levels. So private quay wall owners must be involved, in that case the pilot will enable the testing of co-management and co-finance approaches.
Detailed design will incorporate the cross border design principles developed by project partners to ensure cross border added value. 27000m3 buffer capacity will be created and 130ha will be better protected from flooding. The pilot is consistent with the Flemish decree on integrated water management.