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Existing landscape at Oosterschelde
Existing landscape at Oosterschelde

New spatial typologies
New spatial typologies

Ecological benefits and cycles of remediation
Ecological benefits and cycles of remediation

New spatial typologies
New spatial typologies

Proposal for Oosterschelde
Proposal for Oosterschelde

New estuarine field
New estuarine field

New territorial edge
New territorial edge




PROJECTINDEX
 
A NON-STRAIGHTFORWARD ARCHIPELAGO
Technische Universiteit Delft
URBAN DESIGN

Located on a test site at Oosterschelde in the province of Zeeland, this graduation project presents a proposal for a productive and protective ecosystem. It constructs four new spatial typologies, for seeweed plantations, mussel-pole fields, oyster reefs and salt marsh meadows. The intention behind this mix of ecological infrastructures is to achieve far-reaching environmental advantages. The proposed compounding of different loops is to maximize the yield. These loops include wave attenuation and the promotion of complex relationships between nutrient and carbon cycles and the habitats on site.
In this project, new functional and administrative systems can overlap so that solitary communities and urban centres can engage with one another. The new networks and the cooperation attendant on them are needed to distribute the cultivated biomass, local energy and heat as well as food products. This new land use, essential for protection against flooding, generates a complex new set of economic, cultural and social connections. The cultural and productive advantages and ecological and social synergies of the developed ecological infrastructures are to be tested over a 100 km2 area, as well as the potential for these new productive and protective land uses to shape the visual and cultural qualities of the landscapes for a more complex and varied delta.
These proposals are a response to the restrictions of the current situation in the delta. The Delta Works are the protective infrastructure we have today. Yet they restrict the natural processes in the estuary which in pre-Delta Works times shaped the physical, social and economic landscapes there. The flood protection provided by the Delta Works meshes closely with the existing infrastructure. This has degraded the natural habitats and smothered biodiversity. Promoting conditions beneficial to urban and agricultural land uses has been at the cost of natural processes and habitats.
As sea levels rise, the static system of dams, dykes and barriers will become increasingly ineffective. A reevaluation of current Dutch water management strategies could see a return to estuarine conditions in the Southwest Delta and natural systems and habitats would be able to develop, partly through 'de-poldering'. This would generate new dynamic infrastructures that develop in tandem with the context, including the rising sea level, and would provide enduring protection against high water. These new infrastructures focused on habitat health could also promote sustainable social and economic structures in urban areas.