Dike Park Nijmegen

The Waaldijk near Nijmegen will have to be reinforced in the future. Besides elevating the dike with 1 meter in 2050 (and 2 meter in 2120), there are problems with seepage behind the dike and there is a risk of piping and instability. When the Waaldike is elevated, it is necessary, from a technical point of view, to keep a certain distance between the dike and the houses. Waterschap Rivierenland and the municipality of Nijmegen have the ambition to bring the city and the dike closer together, mainly because of the possible revenues from the land behind the dike. How is the city of Nijmegen spatially related to the Waaldijk and how could the elevation of the dike be solved in this context?

The important question is how the city and the river are related to each other in this area. Flux has analysed the Waaldijk and the way different villages, neighbourhoods and cities are located in relation to the dike. The most important conclusion from the analysis is that only in the most urban areas, the dike isn't visible as a spatial element anymore. In the rest of the area along the Waal, the dike is recognizable as a separate element and forms an important linear structure in the landscape.

Flux proposes to transform the area directly behind the Waaldijk into a dike park. The park ensures that the dike can be experienced as a separate spatial element and that the landscape is optimally intertwined with the city of Nijmegen. Seepage can be used in a smart way to create wetland nature and from the surrounding neighbourhoods there are routes through the park directly to the dike. The transformation of the area into a park makes the installation of a sheet piling wall unnecessary, which saves a lot of money. Hence, there is less need for revenues from housing development in the area and more room for the development of a park with low urban density. The park has an informal character and consists of a multitude of functions with public and productive qualities such as orchards, energy crops, open park places, wetland nature and vegetable gardens. At some locations, there is space for innovative housing development. Flux chooses for a strategy in which the park can be developed in different phases and in which choices for further urbanization can be made in the future .

Nijmegen, dike park, commissioned by O team, Gemeente Nijmegen and Waterschap Rivierenland, dike reinforcement, Waaldijk, park design, public space, water management, landscape urbanism, Flux landscape architecture, Utrecht, 2017