Antwerpen, Belgium
City population: 499254
Duration: 2015 – ongoing
Implementation status: Ongoing
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 170000 m2
Type of area: Residental
Last updated: October 2021

The project aims to completely redevelop ‘Rozemaai’, a neighborhood in Antwerp, focusing on climate change adaptation, green spaces, and recreation. This includes a sustainable drainage system in which storm water flows via swales into a water stream with nature-friendly river banks, trees and bushes in the neighborhood, green parking lots, allotments and recreational facilities such as picnic tables (Ref. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Since 2019, the district has had a new, accessible park in which the Donkse brook plays a leading role (Ref. 7).


Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Alley and street greens
  • Green parking lots
  • Riverbank greens
  • Parks and urban forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces
  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Allotments
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds
  • Rivers/streams/canals/estuaries
  • Green areas for water management
  • Swales and filter strips
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Stormwater and rainfall management and storage
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social justice and equity
  • Social cohesion
  • Social interaction
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Enabling physical activity
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation


Creation of new green areas, Management of rivers and other blue areas

Project objectives

The overarching vision for the neighborhood by the municipality was to improve the quality of life of citizens in the neighborhood (the neighbourhood is characterized by high level of unemployment, a lack of green space and large social-cultural differences) (Ref. 4). Therefore, a pleasant environment in the neighborhood should be created where people of all ages can enjoy recreation, sports and play (Ref. 1). Additional goals are storm water retention by creating a drainage system and improvement of social cohesion by means of creating enough space and facilities where citizens can meet each other and connect (Ref. 2).

Implementation activities

The historical stream that disappeared in the 1960s is recreated with eco-friendly river banks (Ref. 1, 5).Sustainable drainage system: storm water flows from buildings and grey areas through swales in which part of the storm water infiltrates and parts flow to a recreated historical water stream. In the water stream dams and stepping stones will be created that slow down the water flow which improves infiltration and which can also be used by children to play and cross the river (Ref. 5). Diverse native vegetation (trees and bushes) and fruit trees throughout the neighborhood and eco-friendly mowing of existing grass areas (Ref. 2). Green parking lots with bushes and willow borders (Ref. 2). Ponds with shallow water that can store stormwater in case of heavy rainfall and provide habitat (Ref. 2). Recreational facilities: walking and cycling paths, playgrounds, benches and picnic tables (Ref. 1, 2). 52 Allotments, a road verge for the A12 highway and 'sorteerstraatjes' (waste separation system) (Ref. 1). "The city turns the Rozemaai district, on the outskirts of Ekeren and Antwerp, into a pleasant area for young and old. Since 2019, the district has a new, accessible park in which the Donkse beek plays the leading role" (Ref. 7).

Climate-focused activities

Climate change adaptation:

  • Renaturalization of rivers and other water bodies

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups
  • Marginalized groups: Low income citizens


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The project is initiated by the Municipality of Antwerp and designed and implemented by a partnership between Buro Lubbers (landscape architecture company) and Infrabo (infrastructure company) (Ref. 3). The land is mostly owned by the municipality (15 ha) and for a small part by the housing corporation (2ha) (Ref. 4). The designers discussed the development plan of the neighborhood with many stakeholders: the Municipality of Antwerp, social housing corporation Woonhaven en Vlaamse Maatschappij voor Sociaal Wonen (Flemish Social Housing Organization). The vegetation of the road verge is discussed with Natuurpunt (NGO), planting and types of trees with Agentschap Natuur en Bos (NGO for nature and forest), water issues with Roilink (water management organization) and mobility issues with Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer (municipal agency) (Ref. 2). Citizens were for their opinions for the plan (Ref. 1) The allotments were created by De Antwerpse Tuniers (allotment organization) (Ref. 1).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (The redevelopment of the neighborhood Rozemaai is the result of the city planning guidance 'Strategisch Ruimtelijk Structuurplan Antwerpen (Strategic Spatial Structure Plan Antwerp) of 2006 in which the general urban development plan of the city of Antwerp (Ref. 4, 6). This document gave rise to the Masterplan Rozemaai (Masterplan for the neighborhood) in 2009, in which it is specified elements that the neighborhood should contain: green spaces, water elements and recreational facilities that improves social cohesion (Ref. 4, 6).)


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Public local authority budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Strengthened capacity to address climate hazards/natural disasters
  • Water management and blue areas
  • Increased protection against flooding
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Enhanced protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area

Economic impacts

  • Stimulate development in deprived areas

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved social cohesion
  • Improved liveability
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Increased visibility and opportunity for marginalised groups or indigenous peoples
  • Increased opportunities for social interaction
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts, Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records