The first phase of the ‘dry delta’ search has been completed.

The final report explains, among other things, what are the challenges of drought for Flanders and what are the spatial strategies or building blocks that spatial designers and planners can work with.

Labo Ruimte is an open partnership between the team of Vlaams Bouwmeester and the Department of the Environment, expanding depending on the topic with committed departments, experts, relevant organizations and actors. The research project “Dry Delta” consists of three phases. The diagnostic phase is followed by the design research in three cases and the thinking phase in which recommendations will be formulated.

Commissioned by Labo Ruimte, the research team, Sweco, University of Antwerp (ECOBE) and Cluster Landscape and Urbanism, mapped the challenges surrounding water scarcity in Flanders and investigated how we can organize our space in such a way that we are better equipped against drought. The results of this diagnosis have been compiled into an atlas and constitute the starting point for further research by design in more realistic cases.

The past four years have shown that Flanders is not ripe for prolonged periods of drought. By researching by design, Labo Ruimte wants to gain better insight into the role that spatial actors can play in a more proactive approach to the problem of drought. Several strong candidates responded to the call for design and research teams.

Evaluating ten bids, the team of Sweco, University of Antwerp (ECOBE) and Cluster Landscape & Urban Design emerged as the best candidate for this assignment. The research team starts from the potential of the landscape to identify strategies and formulate genre solutions. Since the water system operates in completely different ways in different regions, region-specific solutions are also needed.

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In addition, Labo Ruimte also appoints a group of experts who will supervise the research work. Patrick Willems (KU Leuven, Blue Task Force, Interactive Assessment Framework), Sarah Gary (ULG, ILVO) and Dirk Hallett (Flacoa) will build a bridge of their expertise and experience to a wide range of actors and ongoing processes.

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