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Thread: Ghent: reopening of old river the lowerscheldt

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    Default Ghent: reopening of old river the lowerscheldt

    THE REOPENING OF A RIVER AS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE URBAN RENEWAL OF THE CITY CENTRE IN GHENT, BELGIUM

    Look at a short impression of the local project in Ghent

    Ghent lies in Belgium, at about 50 kilometres from Brussels and at a junction of European motorways, so at a rather central spot in Europe. From a geographical point of view, Ghent is situated in the lowland plain along the North Sea.

    To Belgian standards, Ghent is a middle large city of approximately 230.000 inhabitants. The Ghent conurbation counts about 380.000 inhabitants, taking the fourth place in Belgium. Through history the origin and development of the city of Ghent has always been closely related to the waterways. As source of life, as waterway and as means of defence, the watercourses are intertwined with the urban tissue. The Celtic name of the city “Ganda” means confluence and refers to the origin of the city at the confluence of the rivers Lys and Scheldt.

    A NEW LIFE FOR THE GHENT WATERWAYS
    Extreme proposals for filling up the waterways have resulted in a reaction. From the seventies onwards, a change of mentality came into being, which naturally enabled the current reopening of the Lower Scheldt.
    The past decades, important investments have occurred in the water treatment, with the construction of a comprehensive collector plan which drains the sewage waters towards a purification unit and not any longer in the rivers.

    THE GREEN AXES
    An important option in the Masterplan for the City is the implementation of linear parks, called green axes, which - in most cases - have the watercourses as a main structure. Since the waterways in the city centre and some traffic areas lost their initial economic role, they developed into valuable topographical and ecological sites, offering unexpected opportunities for walking and cycling and for recreation purposes. These green axes are also the basis for a nature structure and make the town lively, in both senses of the word. They are the last structuring landscape features in a periphery, which becomes more fragmented every day. Existent parks, public squares, private gardens and small green elements are included in this landscape. Along the river banks, continuous cycling paths and promenades are laid out, linking the inner city with the exterior areas.
    The rivers are also the backbone of the ecological structure of the city. Nature development along the riverside is very important. In the city centre this is achieved in two different ways: by the development of vegetation on quay walls and by fixing so-called green isles along the quay walls. These ‘floatlands’ are planted with vegetation which comes from the large nature reserve on the outskirts of Ghent. The floatlands function as stepping stones for the development of nature in the city centre.

    The revaluation of the inland waterways also offers new opportunities for recreational water excursions and tourism cruises. The waterways offer opportunities for complementary public transport on water.

    THE REOPENING OF THE FILLED-UP ‘LOWER SCHELDT’
    The City of Gent and the “Afdeling Bovenschelde” (AWZ) (Upper Scheldt Department) of the Ministry of the Flemish Community have conceived the plan to open up the filled-in part of the “Lower Scheldt” between the “Bisdomplein” and the “Nieuwbrugkaai”, thus restoring the former estuary between the Rivers Scheldt and Lys.


    The reopening is not only important in the framework of the reassessment of the Ghent waterways, but also significantly contributes to the crucial open areas development in the city centre, which are absolutely essential to preserve and enhance the living quality. The Lower Scheldt is an important branch of the river Scheldt. It is situated before the Lys estuary, where one of the oldest centres of Ghent came into being, the Saint Bavon’s Abbey and village. The river also constituted the border of another significant municipal site, called the Wijdenaard, which was situated near the Saint Bavon’s cathedral.

    Part of the Lower Scheldt was covered in 1885, in order to secure a smooth link between the former South Railwaystation and the city centre and to create a new town square. In the sixties, the remaining part was filled in up to the Lys estuary, except for a small section at the Castle of Gerard the Devil.

    The reopening of the waterway and the re-evaluation of the public space along the water will thoroughly enhance the liveability in the southern part of the historic city centre.
    Last edited by durexxx; 6th January 2007 at 13:54.

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  3. #2
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    THE REOPENING OF THE FILLED-UP ‘LOWER SCHELDT’ AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ‘PORTUS GANDA’ MARINA
    The City of Gent and the “Afdeling Bovenschelde” (AWZ) (Upper Scheldt Department) of the Ministry of the Flemish Community have conceived the plan to open up the filled-in part of the “Lower Scheldt” between the “Bisdomplein” and the “Nieuwbrugkaai”, thus restoring the former estuary between the Rivers Scheldt and Lys. Two bridges for car traffic will be constructed across the river: the “Wijdenaard bridge” will link the “Reep” and the “Bisdomkaai”; the “Nieuwbrug” will connect the “Keizer Karelstraat” with the “Sint-Jacobnieuwstraat”. By lowering the quays at the “Bisdomkaai”, pedestrians are brought in closer contact with the river.


    In order to equalise the water level, a new lock called “Scaldissluis” will be constructed near the Old Cattle Market. From that point, the water will continue to flow via the Old Cattle Market and the “Nieuwbrugkaai” and will finally discharge in the new, broad inner harbour between the “Nieuwbrugkaai”, “Rodetorenkaai” and “Voorhoutkaai”. Here the new marina Portus Ganda is being built. “Veerkaai” and “Nieuwbrugkaai” will be connected by a bicycle and pedestrian bridge, the Bavo bridge. Next to the public works at the “Nieuwbrugkaai”, a new underpass will be realised underneath the Sint-Joris bridge.

    At the spot where Lys en Scheldt merge, a marina is being built, named Portus Ganda. It has a capacity of 90 boats. Portus Ganda will be a contemporary marina with a lot of activity on and around the water.

    Along the river several new parks and squares will be realised. This is the case behind the restored oldest swimming bath of Belgium (1886), at the confluence of the two rivers and at the “Bisdomplein” in front of the bishops palace and beside the cathedral. The archaeological site of Saint Bavon’s abbey just across the river will be restored. The reopened river and the adjoining streets, squares and parks are also part of a congenial route tourists are used to take from their coaches to the historic city centre.
    http://www.wihcc.nl/images/jachthaven_ppt_1.jpg
    Two works of art will be exhibited on the site. A wall painting will be made on the terrace at the “Brabantdam”. The pinnacle of the entire project is a work of art, commissioned by the AWZ, symbolising the confluence of the Rivers Lys and Scheldt.

    As a first step to bring inhabitants in contact with the river and its potentials, the closing wall along the “Brabantdam” was removed and on the head of the vault, a terrace was constructed and the footpath was broadened. The first excavation took place in 2003 from the “Nieuwbrugkaai” until the “Oude Beestenmarkt”.


    The excavation of the Lower Scheldt, the lowering and stabilizing of the quays, the dredging of the marina, the construction of the Bavo bridge and the building of the lock and the work of art are projects that will be realised by our partner, the Flemish Government, Administration of Waterways and Marine Affairs, division of the Upper Scheldt.




    a litle movie about how it will be

  4. #3
    Junior Kenan

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    Heb je geen grotere foto's van die plek?

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    neen, jammer genoeg niet, dit zijn de enige foto's dat ik kon vinden over het project

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