How about the dikes? Managed realignment in progress at the Hedwige-Prosperpolder
van den Hoven, K.; Kroeze, C.; van Loon-Steensma, J.M. (2021). How about the dikes? Managed realignment in progress at the Hedwige-Prosperpolder, in: FLOODrisk 2020. 4th European conference on flood risk management: science and practice for an uncertain future. pp. 1-4. https://dx.doi.org/10.3311/FLOODRisk2020.14.13
Managed realignment is the landward relocation of a primary flood defence line. Because of this relocation, former land re-inundates, intertidal habitats can restore and new foreshores can develop adjacent to relocated dikes. Therefore, managed realignment can be considered a promising climate change adaptation measure that enables nature-based flood protection. This paper describes the Hedwige-Prosperpolder realignment preparations and aims to contribute to increased nature-based flood protection in future realignment projects. The Hedwige-Prosperpolder is located along the Scheldt estuary on the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. The return of tidal flow into the polder will be facilitated by dike adjustments and manmade creeks. We argue that due to climate change further research is needed on the potential of sustainable flood risk reduction by managed realignment. The Hedwige-Prosperpolder can serve as a Living Lab with many research possibilities during the realignment preparations and after the dikes will be breached. Sustainable managed realignment asks for research on the connection of the relocated dike to the intertidal habitat, both for nature restoration and for improved flood protection.
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