ANTWERP | Preliminary design for Masterplan Scheldt’s Linkeroever

The City of Antwerp is planning a new, six-kilometre-long green pedestrian boulevard along the River Scheldt on the Left Bank aka Linkeroever

The preliminary design of the ‘Masterplan Scheldeboorden Linkeroever‘ is now ready, as is the preliminary design for the first implementation phase of the public space. 

The final designs will follow if everything goes according to plan in the spring of 2023, and works will start in 2024.

Preempting floods

The City of Antwerp is preparing to prevent possible future flooding. For example, the banks of the Scheldt are raised on both banks. The Flemish Waterway is raising the dykes as part of the Sigma Plan. After the elevation on the Left Bank, the City of Antwerp is constructing a new, six-kilometre-long green pedestrian promenade along the Scheldt.

Alderman for Urban Development Annick De Ridder (N-VA): “From 2024, the banks of the Scheldt will be redeveloped according to the principles of greening and blueing. This includes a six-kilometre-long pedestrian promenade in the greenery and next to the Scheldt, and an open landscape in the Scheldt bend that includes the marina, connects the Robinson playground and the Sint-Annastrand (St. Anne’s Beach), we are giving back to all of us ‘Sint-Anneke‘ the grandeur of yesteryear. The preliminary design of the Masterplan makes it clear that we are also bringing the Scheldt on the Left Bank closer to the inhabitants of Antwerp whole area gets a solid green injection.”

The City wants to realize this ambitious project as quickly as possible. That is why the preliminary design for the public space is already being started at the same time as the Masterplan.

Large continuous park

Design agency Bas Smets translated the existing analysis and vision memorandum into the preliminary design master plan.

Landscape architect Bas Smets: “The raising of the Scheldt dike on the left bank is the reason for creating a large, continuous park that follows the bend of the Scheldt from Galgenweel to Sint-Annabos. The design focuses on a contemporary, climate-robust park. that on the one hand makes room for more nature and more biodiversity, and on the other offers room for various forms of recreation.”

Within the dikes, a subtle relief offers possibilities for water collection and slow infiltration. Trees are preserved as much as possible and a varied flora and fauna is created. 

Outside the dikes, the characteristic mud flats and salt marshes landscape will be preserved as much as possible and where possible expanded, because this diverse and sustainable riverbank landscape provides a unique experience along the Scheldt.

A network of winding paths provides connections between the neighborhood and the riverbanks. The dike path sometimes takes the walker close to the Scheldt. In other places it gives a wider view of the river with the city center in the background. Various vantage points also give the walker a wonderful view of the Antwerp roadstead.

The Scheldt banks on the Left bank will become even greener. The new layout allows for more biodiversity and a more diverse use. The existing functions will remain and will be expanded where necessary.

The design makes the Frederik Van Eedenplein the gateway and the heart of Linkeroever. It will be a safe, smart link between the various traffic flows. The local catering industry is strengthened by better accessibility and visibility. The design offers space for the existing small and larger events, so that they can be well organized.

Northern sub-area

On the basis of this Masterplan, the city is developing concrete plans for the new park environment. The project area consists of the sub-areas: Scheldt banks north (from Sint-Annabos to Charles De Costerlaan), middle (from Charles De Costerlaan to Galgenweellaan) and south (from Galgenweellaan to Burcht). First sub-area north comes, then south and finally the middle.

Alderman for Public Domain Erica Caluwaerts (Open Vld): “A smart layout of the public domain ensures smooth connections and a pleasant stay. The new, green pedestrian boulevard, which is exactly 6 kilometers long, offers the visitor a unique experience, with beautiful vistas and a beautiful view of the the Antwerp roadstead. There will be room for playing, enjoying, exercising and walking.”

The preliminary design for the northern sub-area, which has now been approved together with the Masterplan, has a few clear lines of force:

  • An uninterrupted and winding path system for walkers and cyclists will be built in the elongated park. In addition, avenues will be created for functional movements. The space released by the compact design of the avenues is softened and added to the park space. The Kastanjedreef will serve as an axis for loading and unloading, with some parking spaces for people with disabilities.
  • The existing sports and game elements will be renewed where necessary. There are plenty of rest points along the paths.
  • The design brings the Scheldt closer to the visitor. Various cross connections between the avenue and the dike provide good views. Height differences in the form of stairs or amphitheaters provide beautiful views in several places. An open landscape in the Scheldt bend connects the marina, the Robinson playground and the Sint-Annastrand.

Next steps

The City is organizing an information moment about the plans on Wednesday 9 November, continuously from 2 to 8PM. In the Thonetje meeting room, Thonetlaan 169, 2050 Antwerp, the preliminary designs can be viewed and questions can be asked.

The final Masterplan and the final design for the northern sub-area are expected in the first quarter of 2023, when the preliminary design for the south sub-area will also be ready.

This is followed by the tendering procedure for the northern sub-area and the city appoints a contractor. Implementation here is expected to start in the first quarter of 2024. At the same time, the final design for the southern sub-area will be drawn up. The timing for the central Scheldt border area is currently unknown.

On the look of Antwerp

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