Living Labs: the Sand Motor, Hondsbossche Duinen and the Hedwige-Prosperpolder

News - 30 September 2019 - Webredactie

Within the programme Living Labs in the Dutch Delta researchers of Delft University of Technology will coordinate two projects. They are focused on large-scale nature-based interventions in the coastal and river area: the Sand Motor and the Hedwige-Prosperpolder. The projects will develop knowledge about the use of sediments and natural dynamics to improve flood security and the resilience of our water system. The two awarded projects of TU Delft are:

  • C-SCAPE: Sandy strategies for sustainable coastal climate change adaptation (prof. Stefan Aarninkhof, TU Delft)
  • The Hedwige-Prosper Polder as a future-oriented experiment in managed realignment: integrating saltmarshes in water safety (prof. Peter Herman, TU Delft)

The physical locations serve as a natural living lab for researchers from universities, universities of applied sciences and applied knowledge institutions where they can work together with companies and government bodies at the interface of physics, ecology and the related social and economic sciences.

C-SCAPE: Sandy strategies for sustainable coastal climate change adaptation
Prof S.G.J. Aarninkhof, TU Delft
Sand nourishments are essential as a natural measure to ensure coastal safety. They also offer unique opportunities for nature and society. Climate change will cause an increase of the annual nourishment volumes. C-SCAPE aims to develop knowledge and tools to enable this scale increase. To that end, a Living Lab will be realized at two recent, large-scale coastal reinforcement sites (Sandmotor and Hondsbossche Dunes). Existing, unique data sets will be enriched with complementary measurements, which provide insight in the morphological, ecological and socio-economic effects of large-scale nourishments. This will enable better design and evaluation of future climate adaptation measures.

Prof. P.M. van Bodegom LU, Prof T. van der Heide NIOZ, Dr J. Stronkhorst HZ University of Applied Sciences , Dr M. Haasnoot Deltares
Provincie Noord-Holland, Staatsbosbeheer, Zeeuwse Kustgemeentes, Waterschap Scheldestromen, Rijkswaterstaat, Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier, OBN, Van Oord, Boskalis, Witteveen+Bos, Natuurmonumenten, Svasek, WWF

The Hedwige-Prosper Polder as a future-oriented experiment in managed realignment: integrating saltmarshes in water safety
Prof P.M.J. Herman, TU Delft
The Hedwige-Prosperpolder will be reopened for nature restoration. That has raised protests, but it will also be a lesson in innovative coastal management. Marshes protect dikes against breaching, but upon failure also restrict the extent of the breach and the flooding. Realignment can foster marsh development and thereby coastal safety. In this project we investigate technically how marshes restrict dike breaching, how realignment can foster marsh development and how dikes should be designed in this context. We monitor whether these new insights can reconnect people with the changed landscape.

Prof S.G.J. Aarninkhof TU Delft, Dr J.M. van Loon-Steensma WUR, Prof T. Bouma NIOZ, Dr T. Terpstra HZ University of Applied Sciences
Provincie Zeeland, Waterschap Scheldestromen, Rijkswaterstaat, STOWA, SVASEK, HKV, Ecoshape, WEnR


As a low-lying delta, the Netherlands must prepare itself for the possible consequences of sea-level rise, ground subsidence, climate change and the increasing human pressure. This programme ‘Living Labs in the Dutch delta’ contributes to that through knowledge development via a joint effort of researchers, government and the private sector. The programme is a collaboration between fundamental and applied research, developed by NWO, the Taskforce for Applied Research (NPRO-SIA) and various public and private partners within the National Water and Climate Knowledge and Innovation Programme (NKWK).