Since late 2014, Sweco has been supporting the Waterwegen en Zeekanaal nv waterways manager in the comprehensive study designed to improve the inland connection between the seaports and mobility in the Bruges region. The Stadsvaart project involves the part of the Ghent-Ostend canal that lies in Bruges and Oostkamp. The renewal includes the Steenbrugge Bridge and Dampoort Lock and adjustments to the waterway are part of a broader story of urban development and dealing carefully with heritage and landscape.
Location: Bruges and Oostkamp
Partner: SBE nv
Client: Waterwegen en Zeekanaal nv
The concept of Stadsvaart, which by the way Sweco devised, expresses the view that improving the way through is more than just an infrastructure project but needs to be addressed as an integral urban project. Sweco is currently working on possible solutions and is linking these to an intensive process of communication and participation. Sweco is the process supervisor and moderator in the consultation with involved management bodies, target groups and residents.
Participation is informative and consultative. A similar line of work is concerned with the involvement of other residents and users. Specifically for the Stadsvaart project – and in addition to the more familiar forms of project and participant consultation - Sweco has set up a co-production with target groups and residents. The objective is not only to load the design with further insights, expectations and functional requirements, but also to work towards a shared understanding and acceptance of the proposals. A number of pre-discussed and selected target groups were involved in an open and flexible process.
In addition to the working methods of co-design workshops, Sweco has also designed other means of communication. For example, there is the project website www.stadsvaart.be. Further interpretation is given to thematic and general information discussions and listening moments with the population, focus discussions with target groups, explanation moments and information markets.