Projectbook HWBP 2021

Every year, the Flood Protection Program (HWBP) publishes a project book describing which dike reinforcement projects have been programmed in the coming 5 years. Besides an overview of the upcoming projects, the project book also gives an inspiring reflection on its area of expertise. Flux landscape architecture has been asked to make the HWBP project book for the next three years and to shed their light on the dikes of the Netherlands. Every year, Flux will reflect on the dike improvements in relation to another current topic. The 2020 project book focuses on the dike in relation to mobility.

The 2021 Projectbook focuses on the dike in relation to circularity. Circularity has become a more important subject within the HWBP. Just like ground-, road- and water related projects, dike reinforcement should become more circular. By design research and interviews Flux created several sub studies and has developed more insight in the broad concept of circularity and created several provocative scenarios for a circular dike of the future.

Circularity in practice

The ambition of the Hoogwaterbeschermingsprogramma (High water protection program, HWBP) in the field of circularity is part of a bigger transition in The Netherlands to get to a more circular economy. In a circular economy we use our raw materials and cycles are closed as much as possible. In many sectors these principles are already implemented. As a starting point for the research Flux has been looking at these other sectors, for example the building sector or agriculture, to gain inspiration for circular solutions in the dike building sector.

Ground currents

The study to flows of material shows that the impact of constructive solutions, such as a sheet pile wall or a box dam, is often higher than solutions in soil. But working with soil causes a lot of transport movements and thus bigger CO2-emissions. This is partly due to the clay used for the dikes, in contrast to the earlier days, has to be brought in from greater distances. As start for the visions on the circular dike, Flux proposes to link dike reinforcement to river widening projects, so no ground has to be landed from elsewhere.

Five visions for a circular dike

As part of the design research, Flux has developed five concepts of how the circular dike can be designed. The concepts build upon the research and the interviews and are intended to stimulate and inspire, so circularity will be more than just a nice-to-have in the construction of dikes. The five spatial concepts each minimize the use of raw materials in their own way.

- The reused dike: a dike that is exclusively made of renewable or reusable materials

- The minimum dike: a dike whose use of materials is limited, interventions in the hinterland together with the dike guarantee safety

- The super dike: A broad and high dike that protects the land against flooding for a long term

- The ‘Plug-and-Play’ dike: a dike that can be strengthened by means of small interventions using the last techniques and the most up-to-date data, when necessary

- The natural dike: a dike landscape in which foreland, hinterland a dike together makes optimal use of the natural processes for flood risk management 

Netherlands, 2021, commissioned by the Flood Protection Program (HWBP), i.c.w. Koehorst in't Veld, water safety, dike reinforcement, research