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    Introduction

    This section contains pilots and example case descriptions of a number of projects that contain Building with Nature aspects and is intended to serve as inspiration for Eco-dynamic designers.

    The current setup of the examples outlines the added value from Eco-dynamic point of view on the left (green box) with respect to the more traditional design approaches on the right (left box).

    The pilots and example cases are divided in several groups (see tabs above), being:

    • Building with Nature pilots
    • Other pilots
    • Project examples
    • Adaptive Management Strategies (AMS) examples
    • Governance examples

    A) Building with Nature Pilots

    The Building with Nature Pilots are descriptions of pilots conducted within the Building with Nature research program

    • Case - Ecosystem-based design of sand extraction sites – Pilot MV2 Sand Extraction site
      In the Netherlands, the demand for marine sand is still increasing. In 2015, a total volume of 26 million m3 of sand was extracted from the Dutch Continental Shelf for coastal nourishment. Due to the expected sea level rise, the demand for sand ....
    • Galgeplaat nourishment
      Tidal flats are valuable habitats for different plants and animals and are important for coastal protection. However, the total area of tidal flats is decreasing worldwide due to problems like sea lev...
    • Sand Engine Delfland
      To assess the feasibility of mega-nourishments as an innovative measure to create long term safety conditions in combination with extra space for nature and recreation, a pilot project "Sand Motor Del...
    • Shellfish reefs
      In the Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt, The Netherlands), the intertidal flats are eroding, as a consequence of the construction of the storm surge barrier and compartmentalization dams in the '80s. In...
    • Soft sand engine IJsselmeer
      The IJsselmeer is a former sea arm in the Netherlands, separated from the sea in 1932 by a 32 km long dam, the Afsluitdijk. Along the northeast coast of this lake the former saltmarsh have developed i...

    B) Other Pilots

    Other Pilots are interesting pilots for Building with Nature which are not conducted in the Building with Nature research program

    • Eastern Scheldt dike foreshore ecological upgrading
      At several locations along the Eastern and Western Scheldt the dike foreshore needed to be strengthened in 2009. The requirements for this DC contract to ensure dike stability were originally focussed...
    • Eco-concrete Structures
      The breakwaters of the entrance of the North Sea Channel at IJmuiden (The Netherlands) protect the port against wave attack. The breakwaters consist of regularly placed 2x2m concrete blocks. The surfa...

    • Floating Marsh
      Along shores of large Dutch freshwater lakes, dikes often directly border water bodies with relatively steep slopes. Although the lakes themselves are shallow, gradually sloping shallow foreshores are...
    • Harbour and Port Opportunities
      Harbours are often seen as abiotic environments that are optimized for economic activities. While this is sometimes true, harbours also provide a habitat for many species. Simple measures can do a lot...
    • It Soal
      The project It Soal is located on the Frisian coast of the IJsselmeer, The Netherlands, near the Workummerbuitenwaard. It was built between 1995 and 1997 and consists of a recurved breakwater and two ...
    • Mirnserklif
      Mirnserklif is located on the Frisian IJsselmeer coast, southeast of the city of Stavoren in the northern parts of the Netherlands. It is connected to the nature area ‘Mokkebank’ which is managed by t...
    • Rich Revetment
      Biological monitoring has shown that most artificial hard coastal structures, such as dikes, harbour moles, piers, dams and groynes provide a habitat to valuable and diverse species communities. Coast...
    • Veluwerandmeren
      The Veluwerandmeren were formed after the creation of the eastern part of the Flevo-polder in the IJsselmeer, the Netherlands. The Veluwerandmeren include the lakes Drontermeer, Veluwemeer, Wolderwijd...
    • Wave reducing Eco Dike
      As part of the "Room for the River" river improvement programme for the Rhine branches in the Netherlands, the 1600 ha Noordwaard-polder will become part of the floodplain of the River Nieuwe Merwede....
    • Workumerbuitenwaard
      In September 1992, a sand bar was constructed along the Workumerbuitenwaard at 1m below mean sea level. The sand bar- with a length of 2 km and a width of 120 m- was located 450 m from the coast and n...

    C) Project Examples

    Project Examples are examples of projects which use the Building with Nature philosophy

    • Gorai River
      The Gorai River, a distributary of the Ganges, is an important artery for Bangladesh, as it is the source of fresh water for the south-western part of Bangladesh. The river is used for navigation, fis...
    • Kansai International Airport 2nd runway
      Kansai International Airport is located about five kilometers offshore near Osaka, Japan. It is Japan's first airport which operates round-the-clock and it serves an extensive network of international...
    • Natural Capping of the landfill Volgermeerpolder
      A ‘natural cap’ concept has been developed as an innovative solution for remediation and management of waste dump pollution. The ‘natural cap’ concept combines natural peat and wetland development wit...
    • Perkpolder
      Perkpolder, near Hulst and on the coast of the Westerschelde used to be a busy-ferry port. However, due to construction of a tunnel, the ferry connection was shut down and the area deteriorated. To re...
    • Port 2000 Le Havre
      Le Havre is the tenth largest container port in Europe and under the project of "Port 2000" the Port Autonome du Havre was realizing a major port extension for container vessels. The project presented...
    • Puerto Caucedo Dominican Republic
      During the period of August 2002 and April 2004 a new US$250 million container terminal, the Puerto Caucedo Multimodal Terminal, was constructed on a green field site at Andres in the Dominican Republ...
    • Wetland Restoration Wallasea
      Situated in the Special Protection Areas of the Crouch and Roach estuaries, 115 hectares of wetland are created on Wallasea Island. The wetlands are meant as a compensation for areas that were destroy...
    • Wieringerrandmeer
      In the north of the province North Holland, The Netherlands, a man-made peripheral lake was planned between the polder Wieringermeer and the higher land of the former island Wieringen. This lake was m...

    D) Adaptive Management Strategies (AMS) Examples

    Adaptive Management Strategies (AMS) Examples are examples of projects which include AMS.

    • Melbourne Port Extension - Adaptive Management
      The Port of Melbourne is the largest port in Australia, managing 37% of all Australian container traffic. It has ambitious plans to increase container handling fourfold: from 2 million at present to 8...
    • Øresund Fixed Link
      The Danish and Swedish governments decided in 1991 to build a fixed link between Denmark and Sweden crossing the Øresund (the Sound). Two environmental concerns associated with the establishment of th...

    E) Governance Examples

    Governance examples are project examples with a focus on the governance aspects.

    • Perkpolder
      Perkpolder, near Hulst and on the coast of the Westerschelde used to be a busy-ferry port. However, due to construction of a tunnel, the ferry connection was shut down and the area deteriorated. To re...
    • Wieringerrandmeer
      In the north of the province North Holland, The Netherlands, a man-made peripheral lake was planned between the polder Wieringermeer and the higher land of the former island Wieringen. This lake was m...

    All cases are spread over the resprective project phases and steps. This is shown in the following table.

    Phases/Steps Initiation Planning & Design Construction Operation and maintenance
    Understand System
    Identify Alternatives
    Valuate and Pre-select  
    Embed in Project
    Prepare next phase  

     

     

     

    BwN Pilots

    Ecosystem-based design of sand extraction sites – Pilot MV2 Sand Extraction site

    In the Netherlands, the demand for marine sand is still increasing. In 2015, a total volume of 26 million m3 of sand was extracted from the Dutch Continental Shelf for coastal nourishment. Due to the expected sea level rise, the demand for sand to maintain the Dutch coast with nourishments may increase from 12 million m3 to 40 - 85 million m3. To safeguard the supply of sand, new sand extraction strategies are needed and therefore ecosystem-based design rules, which optimise the balance between impacted surface area, sand yield, costs and ecological effects are developed.

    A pilot was planned to investigate which design- and organizational procedures are needed to landscape a large-scale extraction site in this way, as well as to monitor and analyse the effects of this type of ecological site development (expressed/indicated as an increase in biodiversity and biomass). The project explored ways to design and create a seabed landscape, such that after extraction the ecosystem can optimally benefit.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    Ecological research on tidal sand bars and sand waves shows that there are differences in the benthic community composition present on the troughs, slopes and crests. Ecosystem-based landscaped bedforms of a natural scale may induce similar ecological differences. Due to this landscaping, a higher overall biodiversity and higher heterogeneity may develop within sand extraction sites.

     

    A traditional design of a sand extraction site is characterized by a flat seabed. After extraction, biodiversity and biomass will develop in a rather homogeneous pattern.

     

    Galgeplaat nourishment

    Tidal flats are valuable habitats for different plants and animals and are important for coastal protection. However, the total area of tidal flats is decreasing worldwide due to various problems like sea level rise, coastal squeeze, subsidence by gas extraction and erosion initiated by manmade constructions. The construction of a storm surge barrier and compartimentalization dams in the Eastern Scheldt in the 1980s is one example of a manmade structure that resulted in a change in hydrodynamic conditions of the Eastern Scheldt estuary and hence the sediment equilibrium. As a result, channels are filling in and tidal flats inside the estuary are eroding. Nourishing tidal flats with sediment might be a promising solution to mitigate these effects.

    To test this approach, a small area of the Galgeplaat, a tidal flat in the Eastern Scheldt, was nourished in 2008 with 130.000 m3 sand dredged from adjacent channels over a total area of 150.000 m2.

    The processes of sediment distribution on the flats and benthic recolonisation are coupled and interact with each other. Therefore the design challenge is to find an optimum to reduce the initial impact of the nourishment on the benthic fauna, while optimizing the distribution of the sand over the tidal flat by wind and waves and the subsequent recovery of benthic life.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    The nourishment on the Galgeplaat was designed in a circular shape. First a protective bund of sand of approximately 1 m high was built, forming a ring with a diameter of 450 m. This ring was filled with sand during the flood phase of the tidal cycle and spread by bulldozers during the ebb phase. This allowed for a controlled construction of the nourishment, as an increase in the concentration of suspended matter had to be avoided because of nearby commercial mussel beds.

     

    Traditional working methods, while effective from a technical perspective, provide less control over the spreading of fine sediments than the work method implemented in this project, with the perimeter of sand.

     

    Sand Engine Delfland

    To assess the feasibility of mega-nourishments as an innovative measure to create long term safety conditions in combination with extra space for nature and recreation, a pilot project "Sand Engine Delfland" has been initiated.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    A surplus of sand (order 20 million m3) is put into the natural system and is expected to be re-distributed alongshore and into the dunes, through the continuous natural action of waves, tides and wind. In this way mega-nourishments gradually induce dune formation along a larger stretch of coastline over a period of one or more decades, thus contributing to the preservation and increase of safety against flooding over a longer period.

     

    A traditional design of a sand nourishment has the primary objective of shoreline maintenance using a medium volume of sand (2-5 million m3). The lifespan of the nourishment is in the order of 5 years. This means that every 5 years the nourishment has to be redone, resulting in a frequent disturbance of the ecosystem.

     

    Shellfish reefs

    In the Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt, The Netherlands), a continuous net erosion of intertidal flats takes place (erosion intertidal flats). This is a consequence of morphological disequilibrium caused by the construction of the storm surge barrier and compartmentalization dams in the '80s. In this pilot Ecoshape applied oyster reefs in an attempt to stabilize eroding areas, thereby safeguarding biologically valuable intertidal habitats. Tidal flats also dissipate wave energy, and thus help to protect the hinterland from flooding.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    Shellfish reefs can stabilize eroding (intertidal) coastal areas. They protect sediment on the flats from direct erosion by currents and waves. Moreover, shellfish filter material from the water column and deposit it in the form of faecal pellets. This together with sediment is trapped between the shells. As reefs enhance bed roughness, they influencing near-bed water flow and wave action. This in turn influences sediment transport, sedimentation, consolidation and stabilization processes. Besides this dynamic interaction with the physical environment, the reefs provide a complex habitat for many other species, can provide economic benefits and contribute to a healthier ecosystem functioning.

     

    Hard structures are common solutions when protecting shores and shoals against erosion. When constructed from rock or loose elements, they generally provide substrate on which sessile organisms can settle and mobile fauna can shelter. The use of ecosystem-engineers instead of these more traditionally used materials has the additional value of providing a number of other ecosystem services. Examples are: food and raw material production, nutrient cycling, biologically mediated habitat, gas and climate regulation and disturbance prevention (Beaumont, Austen et al. 2007).

     

    Soft sand engine IJsselmeer

    The IJsselmeer is a former sea arm in the Netherlands, separated from the sea in 1932 by a 32 km long dam, the Afsluitdijk. Along the northeast coast of this lake the former saltmarsh have developed into valuable freshwater wetlands which help protecting the shore of the province of Friesland. In 2009, planning started of three so-called ‘sand engine experiments’ along this shore, meant to investigate whether a gradual supply of sand would enable the wetlands to follow a rise in lake level along with sea level rise. The implementation is governed by a coalition of regional and national actors, led by It Fryske Gea, a regional NGO for nature protection.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    Creating semi-natural floodplains on lake shores in front of existing dikes may help to dissipate wave energy, thus reducing wave attack on the dike. Additional positive effects are created by pioneer species colonising these new habitats and people recreating on the new beaches. Depending on the specific situation, sand is nourished a few hundred metres offshore and natural wave-related sediment transport gradually brings the sediment onshore. Furthermore Bio-engineers are stimulated to grow on the newly deposited sediments, thus preventing erosion.

     

    To reduce the storm-related risk of flooding in Delta Lakes and Reservoirs, a traditional and proven solution is to raise the level of the (older) dikes. The strengthening of dikes usually involves raising as well as broadening the dike, which can have a profound impact on the landscape and the cultural values present. Despite the fact that dike strengthening enhances the safety level of a given area, the impacts on the landscape and user functions of such projects can trigger adverse reactions from local stakeholders. Moreover, in the case of the Frisian coast the ecologically valuable wetlands would not be enabled to follow the rising lake level and would sooner or later be lost.

     

    Other Pilots

    Designing and monitoring the Sand engine Workumerwaard

    June 2011 marked the beginning of the construction of the first soft sand engine in Lake IJsselmeer, The Netherlands. These sand engines are meant to enable the coast to adjust to a gradually rising water level and stronger water level variations. The implementation is governed by a coalition of regional and national actors, led by It Fryske Gea (Assocation of nature conservation in Friesland, The Netherlands). The objective of the experiment is to test the functioning and effectiveness of such a concentrated shore nourishment in combination with bioengineers.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    Natural or semi-natural wetlands in front of existing lake dikes may help dissipate wave energy, thus reducing the probability of wave-induced overtopping. Moreover, such wetlands are valuable nature areas and popular places for recreation. In order to maintain and revitalise such a wetland, a concentrated shoreface nourishment ('soft sand engine') is placed roughly 500 m offshore of the Workumerwaard. The design utilizes the wave-induced sediment transport to gradually bring the sediment onshore. Furthermore  Bio-engineers  are stimulated to grow on the new sediments, thus preventing erosion.

     

    To reduce the storm-related risk of flooding in  Delta Lakes and Reservoirs , traditional and proven technology is to strenghten existing dikes. This usually involves raising as well as broadening the dike, which can have a profound impact on the landscape, nature and cultural values in the vicinity. Despite the fact that dike strengthening enhances the safety level of a given area, its impacts on landscape and user functions can trigger adverse reactions from local stakeholders.

    Eastern Scheldt dike foreshore ecological upgrading

    At several locations along the Eastern and Western Scheldt the dike foreshore needed to be strengthened in 2009. The requirements for this D&C contract to ensure dike stability were originally focussed on economic aspects only. This lead to a straight, technical design, making use of the relatively cheap and technically effective material steel slag, a stone-like residue of steel production. The environmental impact of steel slag was widely challenged, mainly by action groups who claimed that the ecological effects of the large-scale application of this material, especially the effects on the flora and fauna living on this material, have not been studied completely.

    Notwithstanding the fact that from the point of view of environmental protection law there was no necessity to adjust the technical design, the special ecological value of two locations in the Eastern Scheldt was recognized. Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment have therefore joined forces with applied research institute Deltares and GiMaRIS consulting marine researchers to design and construct an underwater ecological landscape on a scale unparalleled in the world.

    The partners' approach to enriching the foreshore involved creating as much habitat variation as possible. The engineering design called for a variety of different materials, gradients and shapes to create differences in height, hiding places, and variations in the exposure to and shelter from currents and waves. To ensure flexibility, the engineers came up with a modular system of building blocks consisting of round, criss-crossed and atoll-shaped piles of stones and linear elements, all in varying sizes. Combining these building blocks made it possible to achieve more variety at a larger scale.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    Over a technically stable foreshore design, specialized shapes of rock armour stone are created so that a modular system is obtained that creates variation on different scales.

     

    A traditional monofunctional design compromises a plain slope created by recycled material stable against currents and wave attack, such as steel slag. The top layer is rather flat and hardly provides hiding places for organisms to settle or recover. The result is a low overall bio-density and a limited landscape variability.

     

    Eco-concrete Structures

    The breakwaters of the entrance of the North Sea Channel at IJmuiden (The Netherlands) protect the port against wave attack. The breakwaters consist of regularly placed 2x2m concrete blocks. The surface of the blocks, and cracks and spaces between these blocks are habitats for a diversity of marine flora and fauna like algae, insects, crabs, shellfish, fish and birds. Because of this, it is important that after renovation of the breakwaters, the ecological system will recover quickly. This can be stimulated by the use of special concrete blocks.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    Concrete blocks with eco-friendly surfaces, roughened with various textures and geometric shapes, that stimulate fast and diverse colonization by macro-algae and macro-fauna

     

    Traditional concrete blocks with relative smooth surfaces.

     

    Floating Marsh

    Along coasts of large Dutch freshwater lakes, dikes often border the water directly, with relatively steep slopes. Shallow zones and the gradual slope from land to water are lacking. Consequently, species that inhabit these zones are decreasing. In addition, constant lake-water levels cause erosion of shores. To dampen waves and recreate gradual land-water transitions brushwood mattresses were constructed in front of the dike. These mattresses might facilitate development of floating reed marsh in the shallow zone in front of a dike. This marsh reduces wave impact on the dike, enhances sedimentation and creates a clear shallow water zone with (submerged) vegetation. Thereby, the initial substrate of the mattress could be suitable for establishment of filter feeders, such as zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and for other species.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    The innovative application of braided brushwood mattresses aims to create floating foundations for emergence of reed vegetation. The floating mattresses locally reduce currents and waves thereby decreasing hydraulic loads on the dikes and creating valuable habitats above and below water. More benign conditions stimulate settling of suspended solids and promote the stabilisation of silty soils.

     

    Traditionally dikes in Dutch freshwater lakes directly border the water. However, historically this zone used to be a gradual transition between land and water inhabiting freshwater marshes. 
    To reduce wave impact on dikes rows of poles can be placed in front of the dike, or dikes can be designed to withstand wave impacts themselves.

     

    Harbour and Port Opportunities

    Harbours are often seen as abiotic environments that are optimized for economic activities. While this is sometimes true, harbours also provide a habitat for many species. Simple measures can do a lot to provide additional ecological value.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    Floating and hanging artificial surfaces can enhance habitat diversity and filter feeder biomass, if port water quality is good enough (like in Rotterdam). Constructions made of standard nylon ropes, strategically strung between the piles of a jetty, are a cheap way to do this. The photo shows such ropes four months after installation.

     

    Smooth steel and concrete structures, like sheet-pile walls or jetty piers, provide little grip for mussels and sea anemones. Further, compared to natural rocky habitats, artificial structures lack cracks and crevices, and profile variation.

     

    It Soal

    The project It Soal is executed along the Frisian IJsselmeer coast located near the Workummerbuitenwaard between 1995 and 1997. It consists of a constructed longitudinal groyne and two sandbars. Main purpose of the project was to create rest,- moult,- and foraging habitat for wading birds. The dyke and sandbars also functioned as zoning structure to divide nature and recreational areas. The project is successful in reaching its objectives. The groynes contributed to retain the sediment as well as to the zonation of nature and recreation. 
    As this project has been executed some decades ago, the case It Soal serves as a historical case from which lessons can be learned.

     

    Mirnserklif

     

    Mirnserklif is located along the Frisian IJsselmeer coast, east of the city of Stavoren in the northern parts of the Netherlands. It is connected to the nature area ‘Mokkebank’ which is managed by the nature protection association ‘It Fryske Gea’.

    In 1993, four undefended (e.g. not protected by any artificial structure) sand bars were constructed. In total, 120,000 m3 sand was replaced. The height of the sand bars varied from 0,20m +NAP to 0,20m –NAP. The main goal of the project was to create foraging, resting and nesting habitat for birds dependant on reed and marshes by extension of the marshland.

    As this project has been executed some decades ago, the case Mirnserklif serves as a historical case from which lessons can be learned.

     

     

    Restoration of pioneer salt marsh (Spartina anglica) for coastal protection

    In the Eastern Scheldt (The Netherlands), a continuous net erosion of the intertidal flats takes place. Saltmarshes are declining and experience erosion, whereas pioneer saltmarsh has almost disappeared. This is a consequence of the morphological disequilibrium caused by the construction of the storm surge barrier and compartmentalization dams in the 1980s. Also in the Western Scheldt estuary pioneer saltmarshes have become scarce. In this pilot Ecoshape investigates a new method to re-establish  Spartina anglica  (cord grass) in an attempt to protect higher intertidal areas against erosion and to promote the development of pioneer saltmarsh. When certain conditions are met (e.g. sufficient sediment input), the plants may grow in time into healthy saltmarshes and add to the biodiversity and ecological functioning of the area.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    Saltmarshes can protect coastal zones from currents and waves by stabilizing sediments and reducing wave action. They grow in the highest zone of beaches and mud flats. The structures associated with the plants also induce deposition of sediment and organic material from the water column. This material is consolidated between the plants and is a source of food for fauna associated to these habitats. Under certain circumstances, saltmarshes are able to maintain the coastline relative to sea level rise by accreting sediment at a level comparable to or even higher than sea level rise, providing a further reduction in vulnerability to hazards and climate change. Besides this dynamic interaction with the physical environment, saltmarshes provide economic benefits and contribute to a healthier ecosystem functioning.

     
    Historically, coastal protection schemes have relied on hard infrastructure solutions such as seawalls, jetties and groins while ignoring or even destroying coastal marshes that could add to the protection.
    Moreover, hard structures often reflect part of the incoming wave energy, thus exposing the foreshore to extra wave action. This explains why seawalls often lead to a loss of beach.

     

    Rich Revetment

    Biological monitoring has shown that some artificial hard coastal structures, such as dikes, harbour extensions, piers, dams and groynes provide a habitat for valuable and diverse species communities. Continuously, coastal structures are maintained, repaired or upgraded. This affects existing hard substrate communities and can result in long term degradation of hard substrate habitat diversity. Standard design is not optimized to provide ecological values in addition to the main civil engineering objectives. The diverse dike concept explores the possibility of optimizing hard structures for habitat creation. By selecting substrate characteristics that aim at the improvement of habitat diversity for organisms living on and under the water level, the bio-productivity and the biodiversity can be increased.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    In the perspective of total cost of dike upgrade, the additional cost of introducing water retaining pools, additional types of limestone and additional sorting in the berm is marginal. In the eco-engineering design this berm is engineered to produce variable profiles (in slope, material and sorting) in both perpendicular and alongshore directions. 
    Monitoring has shown that water retaining pools with additional sorting of limestone increases the biodiversity dramatically in the intertidal zone. The pools function as sheltering habitat for many shrimp and smaller fish species. Algae productivity is increased in the pools.

     

    In a standard design, the required safety level is maintained by parts of dike construction situated above the average high water mark. Lower zones, such as the intertidal berm are not crucial to safety and allow degrees of freedom in the design process. In the traditional design this berm is engineered to produce monotonous profiles (in slope, material and sorting) in both perpendicular and alongshore directions.

    Veluwerandmeren

     

    The Veluwerandmeren were formed after the creation of the eastern part of the province of Flevoland. The Veluwerandmeren includes the lakes Drontermeer, Veluwemeer, Wolderwijd and Nuldernauw. It is a diverse but fragile area with a variety of functions. The Veluwerandmeren are a wetland of international importance with a high diversity in waterfowl and aquatic plants. Other functions are shipping, swimming, sport-and professional fishing, drinking water provision and reed cultivation. The project VeluweRandmeren (in Dutch: Integrale Inrichting VeluweRandmeren or IIVR) is initiated in 1996 to integrate different legislation and plans for the area and is a cooperation between 19 governmental agencies. Together with stakeholder groups and inhabitants they (re)designed the area between the Nijkerkersluis and the Roggebotsluis close to the city of Kampen. The ultimate goal is to implement a package of integrated measures for the Veluwerandmeren to improve the spatial quality and to restore the balance between nature and recreation.

    The governance aspects of this project are analysed in order to define lessons learned for the Building with Nature pilots.

     

     

    Wave reducing Eco Dike

    As part of the project "Make Room for the River", the 1600 ha Noordwaard-polder will become a part of the floodplain of the River Nieuwe Merwede. In order to do so the river dike near Werkendam will be partly removed. This will cause the Noordwaard to be inundated yearly, during events of high water level on the River Nieuwe Merwede. In case of a 1/2000 year discharge event, the Noordwaard 'bypass' will reduce the Nieuwe Merwede water level upstream in Gorinchem by 0.3 meter.

    A new primary river dike is required in the North Eastern corner of the Noordwaard to protect the inhabitants at Fort Steurgat. During a 1/2000 year discharge event the average water depth in the polder will be 3 meter whereby, in combination with a severe storm, waves up to 1 meter high are expected near Fort Steurgat. A first 'traditional' dike design around Fort Steurgat resulted in a dike height of 5.5 meter above NAP, with concrete blocks as armouring layer, leading to protests from the local population.

    To create an ecodynamic design that provides safety, that provides additional values for nature and recreation and that is practical from the viewpoint of costs and durability.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    The hybrid dike is integrated in the landscape, willow trees are common in the area. The armoured dike is now replaced by a lower clay covered dike resulting in a cheaper solution. The combination of clay dike and willow plantation is generating additional natural and landscape values. In line with sustainability objectives of Dutch government, production of biomass for energy as result of regular maintenance of the willow plantation is seen as a bonus of the project. It is expected that the new design will add to recreational value of the area for local residents.

     

    The dike has been optimized from landscaping point of view. On the inside (right hand side of profile drawing) the slope is very gentle in order to provide an impression of a sloping meadow for the residents of Fort Steurgat. The traditional design on the side exposed to high waterlevels and wave impact is fortified with a concrete armouring layer to resist waves with a Hs of 1.1 meter.

     

    Workumerbuitenwaard

    In September 1992, a sand bar was constructed along the Workumerbuitenwaard at 1m below mean sea level. The sand bar- with a length of 2 km and a width of 120 m- was located 450 m from the coast and not protected by any artificial structure. Goal of the project was the eastwards movement of the bar resulting in a gradual supply of sand to the coast and expansion of the wetlands along the shore. As this project has been executed some decades ago, the case Workumerbuitenwaard serves as a historical case from which lessons can be learned.

      Project cases

    Gorai River

    The Gorai River, a distributary of the Ganges, is an important artery for Bangladesh, as it is the source of fresh water for the south-western part of Bangladesh. The river is used for navigation, fisheries, agriculture and domestic purposes. Besides this, the fresh water flow of the river is also important to the ecology and economy (logging) of the mangrove forests situated along the coast. During the eighties and nineties the flow in the river gradually slowed down, especially during the dry season. The river discharge was decreasing and the annual sedimentation rate was significantly increasing. This led to a vicious circle causing difficulties for the people living along its banks and detrimental effects to the mangrove forests. To get the river flowing again, a number of solutions were considered.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    The eco-dynamic design of the Gorai river includes the use of the natural flow conditions. By restoring a natural flow in the river, the river will be more self-sustaining with limited maintenance dredging. Important in the execution of such a project is a certain flexibility in the design and construction phase.

     

    Traditionally a river like the Gorai would be embanked by a permanent structure of dams and dikes. The flow of the river would be man-made and a continuous struggle against natural forces in terms of dredging and river training would be necessary.

     

    Kansai International Airport 2nd runway

    Kansai International Airport is located about five kilometers offshore near Osaka, Japan. It is Japan's first airport which operates round-the-clock and it serves an extensive network of international and domestic routes, which makes it one of the international transport hubs in Japan. The aim of the project is to create a human- and eco-friendly airport. The airport should meet environmental quality standards and minimize negative environmental impact on Osaka Bay and surrounding areas. One of the reasons to construct an airport offshore was to reduce air and noise pollution on the mainland. Today's airport has been constructed in two phases. In the first phase (1987-1994) an artificial island was built, on which the first runway is located. The second phase was executed later, for reasons of capacity, between 1995 and 2007. This second phase included the construction of a second artificial island, connected by a road with the first island, and the construction of a second runway. The lessons learned from the first phase were used to optimize the design of the second phase, for construction as well as ecological sustainability.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    Right from the start of this project a triple-P approach was adopted. This resulted in a design which includes the creation of new animal and plant habitat in Osaka bay. It also includes the reduction of pollution during the operation phase by e.g. waste water treatment, reuse of treated water, reduction of waste volumes and efficient energy consumption. In addition to the triple-P approach, the design of the second phase is adapted to the lessons learned from the first phase.

     

    In traditional design the environmental and noise pollutions requirements would be just fulfilled and little or no extra effort would be made to create an ecologically sustainable infrastructure.

     

    Natural Capping of the landfill Volgermeerpolder

    A ‘natural cap’ concept has been developed as an innovative solution for remediation and management of waste dump pollution. The ‘natural cap’ concept combines natural peat and wetland development with waste encapsulation and degradation of pollutants in the peat layer.

    The Volgermeerpolder, North of Amsterdam, is an area that has been used as a toxic waste deposit site for years. The area used to be a peat excavation site where peat was exploited for fuel. In order to cope with toxic leakage from the 6 meter thick waste layer into the surrounding groundwater system, monitoring was initiated and a plan was developed to cover the mound. Monitoring of the water and soil quality showed that peat prevents leakage due to its impermeable character. This led to the innovative ‘natural cap’ design. The concept will be tested further in the coming years in order to verify and prove the full working of the concept. As such the Volgermeerpolder is one of the largest wetland development sites in the world.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    The natural cap concept involves the application of natural elements to cover and degrade toxic materials. Wetland development stimulates peat formation and peat layers serve as a natural barrier to infiltration. The peat layer absorbs almost all the precipitation, so almost no water infiltrates in the ground and through the waste material. This results in no or less leakage. Degradation of pollutants can take place in the peat layer through bacterial processes.

     

    In traditional designs, waste dumps are capped with metal or concrete sheets, bottom sealing and foil that has to be replaced over time. This is a very costly, inefficient and unnatural method.

     

    Perkpolder

    Perkpolder, near Hulst and on the coast of the Westerschelde used to be a busy-ferry port. However, due to construction of a tunnel, the ferry connection was shut down and the area deteriorated. To revitalise the area economically and environmentally, a multi-functional infrastructure development project was proposed.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    The Building with Nature design approach is one in which all three P's are addressed; the People in terms of improved residential areas, the Planet by creating different natural areas with additional ecological value, and the Profit by adding extra economical value to the area, through residential, recreational and commercial activities.

     

    In a traditional situation, most likely the solution would be to do nothing. Perhaps the Westerschelde dikes would have been raised to protect the land, but other than that the area would have been left to economic deterioration.

     

    Port 2000 Le Havre

    Le Havre is the tenth largest container port in Europe and under the project of "Port 2000" the Port Autonome du Havre was realizing a major port extension for container vessels. The project presented itself with some challenges, one of which was to compensate for the loss of nature, or even to increase natural values. As part of the environmental compensation, a dedicated bird island was created.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    In the case of Port 2000 Le Havre, not only the economical and functional requirements, but also environmental issues were taken into account. The construction was executed in phases to minimize the ecological effects on the estuary. Compensation measures were taken to mitigate environmental effects or even enhance the ecosystem.

     

    The expansion of a harbour is mainly based on economical issues. The design and construction methods are shaped by functional requirements and cost limitation only.

     

    Puerto Caucedo Dominican Republic

    During the period of August 2002 and April 2004 a new US$250 million container terminal, the Puerto Caucedo Multimodal Terminal, was constructed on a green field site at Andres in the Dominican Republic. Between December 2002 and August 2003, approximately 2 million m3 of material had to be dredged form the harbour basin and the entrance channel. The project is located near a live coral reef and a popular holiday resort at Boca Chica. To meet the requirements of the Dominican Government, the financial lenders and the project sponsors, Caucedo Investments Incorporated, an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment Study had been carried out as part of the project planning. This identified various coral colonies that may be affected by the construction works. Adverse impacts on the coral communities were not desirable from an environmental as well as social and economic point of view. Mitigation measures were recommended for the execution methods to be employed and the incorporation of these measures into the Construction Contract Documents were one of the key conditions for allowing the project to proceed. These measures were to be supplemented by water quality and coral monitoring to guide the dredging operations such that no adverse impacts would occur.

     

    Wetland Restoration Wallasea

    Situated in the Special Protection Areas of the Crouch and Roach estuaries, 115 hectares of wetland are created on Wallasea Island. The wetlands are meant as a compensation for areas that were destroyed during harbour development in the 1990's. The British government ordered a replacement and promoted the use of Managed Realignment Strategies. In these strategies water (in this case the sea) is given more space by breaching the sea walls and allowing some parts of the land to be flooded from time to time.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    An EDD approach to wetland restoration implies that both location and design are highly influenced by environmental factors, but also include an integral approach. In case of Wallasea the location is carefully chosen to have the largest additional environmental value without destroying any of the existing environment. Moreover, the wetlands are not only aimed to compensate for nature losses, but also to (indirectly) provide flood protection and to serve recreational purposes.

     

    A traditional approach to compensating measures such as wetland restoration would spend as little effort as possible to just meet the requirements. Most probably, the process would be dictated by the authorities.
    In terms of flood protection a traditional design would be that the existing dikes would further be raised to cope with progressing sea level rise. Increasing river discharges would further enhance the design water levels in the estuary, thus necessitating further dike raising.

     

    Wieringerrandmeer

    In the north of the province North Holland, The Netherlands, a man-made peripheral lake was planned between the polder Wieringermeer and the higher land of the former island Wieringen. This lake was meant to give a boost to the area, socially and economically as well as ecologically. Next to improving the water management of the area, extra recreational, residential and commercial activities should enhance the socio-economical situation and should attract both the present and new inhabitants. Moreover, the ecological value was to be raised by creating more diverse nature. In the meantime, the authorities responsible have cancelled the project. Yet, the plan is worth considering from a building with nature perspective.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    This project uses an integrated approach to give the area a socio-economic boost, improve the water management and increase the ecological value by enabling the establishment of a more diverse nature.

     

    In a traditional project only the water management problem would be considered and solved with a technical solution (which would probably be a new pumping station). Other aspects of the region, such as the socio-economical situation, would be addressed in other projects by other institutions.

    Adaptive management strategies example cases

     

    Maasvlakte 2 extension - Adaptive Monitoring of sand extraction areas

    The Maasvlakte 2 (MV2) case is selected to serve as hind cast example of possible adaptive monitoring schemes, i.e. how could adaptive execution have helped?

    For the entire life span of the Mainport Rotterdam, extensive Monitoring and Evaluation plans (MEP) have been set up, such as the MEP sand extraction and MEP land reclamation. Their goal is twofold: first is verification how do the actual effects relate to the expected scenario's and second is gathering data for filling the gaps in knowledge. Every five years, the monitoring plans are evaluated. If needed, the management plans will be adjusted. As the scope of the case studied is marine sand mining, this historic case description of the Maasvlakte 2 focuses on the MEP sand extraction.

    In the section "Lessons Learned" the Frame of Reference has been applied to the case study MV2. Note that the scope of this case study is limited to the construction phase of the MV2 and only considers the monitoring related to sand extraction.

     

     

    Melbourne Port Extension - Adaptive Management

    The Port of Melbourne is the largest port in Australia, managing 37% of all Australian container traffic. It has ambitious plans to increase container handling fourfold: from 2 million at present to 8 million in 2035. In order to achieve this expansion it is necessary to extend the port and deepen the entrance and navigation channels leading to it, thus improving access for container ships with a draft of up to 14 m.

    In addition to the national economic importance of the port, there is also the unique nature of its location on Port Phillip Bay. The bay measures approximately 2,000 km2, has a coastline of 264 km and is home to two marine national parks. It is the habitat for a range of species of fish, small penguins, whales, dolphins and seals, as well as extensive sponge gardens, various cold-water corals and seagrass beds. For approximately 3 million local residents, it is an important recreational area. From the very start, it was clear that the environmental component of the project was essential, and that many local residents had serious concerns about the impact of the work on biodiversity in the bay.

     

     

    The Danish and Swedish governments decided in 1991 to build a fixed link between Denmark and Sweden crossing the Øresund (the Sound). Two environmental concerns associated with the establishment of the link were identified:

    • The link itself could affect the water and salt flow through the Øresund and into and out of the Baltic Sea, leading to reduction of fish catches, and affecting other biological systems in the Baltic Sea.
    • Sediment spill during construction work could affect sensitive receivers such as mussels, sea grass and eiders.

    An International Expert Panel, advising the Danish and Swedish governments, was formed to design mitigation strategies to avoid negative environmental impacts. The proponent was the Øresundskonsortiet, owned jointly by the Danish and Swedish Governments.

     

    Governance cases

     

    Perkpolder

    Perkpolder, near Hulst and on the coast of the Westerschelde used to be a busy-ferry port. However, due to construction of a tunnel, the ferry connection was shut down and the area deteriorated. To revitalise the area economically and environmentally, a multi-functional infrastructure development project was proposed.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    The Building with Nature design approach is one in which all three P's are addressed; the People in terms of improved residential areas, the Planet by creating different natural areas with additional ecological value, and the Profit by adding extra economical value to the area, through residential, recreational and commercial activities.

     

    In a traditional situation, most likely the solution would be to do nothing. Perhaps the Westerschelde dikes would have been raised to protect the land, but other than that the area would have been left to economic deterioration.

     

    Wieringerrandmeer

    In the north of the province North Holland, The Netherlands, a man-made peripheral lake was planned between the polder Wieringermeer and the higher land of the former island Wieringen. This lake was meant to give a boost to the area, socially and economically as well as ecologically. Next to improving the water management of the area, extra recreational, residential and commercial activities should enhance the socio-economical situation and should attract both the present and new inhabitants. Moreover, the ecological value was to be raised by creating more diverse nature. In the meantime, the authorities responsible have cancelled the project. Yet, the plan is worth considering from a building with nature perspective.

    Building with Nature Design   Traditional Design

    This project uses an integrated approach to give the area a socio-economic boost, improve the water management and increase the ecological value by enabling the establishment of a more diverse nature.

     

    In a traditional project only the water management problem would be considered and solved with a technical solution (which would probably be a new pumping station). Other aspects of the region, such as the socio-economical situation, would be addressed in other projects by other institutions.

     
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