Dry feet and green spaces through reinforcing Zwolle urban dykes

Related theme: Water (and Drought) 

Project information

2019 - 2022

Client:  Water Board Drents Overijsselse Delta

TAUW contact person:

  • Renate van Bemmelen



Challenge – Future-proof defences

The project is complex because the dykes that need to be reinforced run along three very distinct areas, stretching 7.5km from an industrial site in the south through a densely populated city centre to a natural area in the north that borders on a nature conservation area.

The Water Board commissioned the Dijkzone Alliantie, a group of contractors of which TAUW is a part, to carry out the planning development phase. That important first phase encompassed the design of the actual engineering work, permit management and stakeholder management

Solution - Technical advice, tight planning

TAUW consultants provided a wide range of services for the Dijkzone Alliantie partnership. Together we were responsible for the Final Design of the design process, finding smart solutions to safeguard the defensive function of the embankments while minimising the impact of the work and even enhancing the visual and environmental aspect of the embankments.

Our dedicated consultants kept the wide range of stakeholders involved and on board with the project by holding regular meetings with representatives of the local governments and keeping the project group informed. We encouraged local stakeholders to participate in kitchen-table sessions, used social media to keep local residents informed and engaged; we organised a festival and made sure that project information was translated for the multicultural residents of Holtenbroek estate.

TAUW also played a decisive role in the complex permit procedures. The different areas not only require a different technical approach but are subject to a range of permit regulations. We completed Environmental impact reports, amended and recalculated them in line with changing nitrogen regulations. The permit procedure was completed successfully.

Impact - Keeping our feet dry and our open spaces green

The climate-adaptive measures proposed by the Dijkzone Alliantie will protect the residents and businesses in the municipality for many years from rising water levels. The spatial layout we designed with landscape architect leaves room for nature, water and leisure activities. We included measures to retain trees and use electric equipment to lessen our impact on the environment.


Partnership –  Communicative collaboration

The Zwolle urban dyke project is special because it involves urban areas, which calls for greater coordination with the surrounding area and the variety of parties. The dyke reinforcement project runs along a 7.5-kilometre stretch, from industrial estate through the residential area of Holtenbroek to rural Westerveld. The board has adopted the Preliminary Design. And in the autumn of 2020, we presented this Preliminary Design to various stakeholders, including residents, businesses and governments. By joining forces from the outset, we expect to better control both the technical and financial risks involved in such a project. By joining forces, Zwolle will not only keep its feet dry in the future, but the new dyke will also contribute to the connection between people, nature and water.”


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