Ostend East Bank dunes: nature restored to its rightful place

A lot of new urban amenities are under construction on the Ostend East Bank. In this context, it was also decided to recreate the dune landscape and integrate it into the new public space.

Prior to the start of the urban regeneration project on the Ostend East Bank in 2013, the dunes in this area served all sorts of purposes which were not aligned.  This had a considerable impact on the attractiveness of this part of the city. 

Kris Delvaux, Climate Manager of the City of Ostend, explains how they succeeded in lending new dynamism to the area: "We have removed the buildings of the sailing club and youth centre. We have restored nature to its rightful place. Some dunes have even been recreated."

What has been conserved are a number of military buildings and constructions. They used to be tucked away between the sand and dunes, but are now clearly visible in the landscape. This way, the local cultural-historical heritage is made accessible and put to use.

The redevelopment of the area benefits the coastal protection as well. "What is important is that we have made use of the East Bank dunes to reinforce the coastal defence structures and have implemented nature-based solutions. This means no concrete, no pavement, no walls," Kris states. 

By means of various interventions, the area is much more accessible now, and has been integrated into the Green Belt around Ostend, a largely car-free cycle route which takes you through several surprising landscapes on the outskirts of the city. So if you’re ever in Ostend, it is certainly worthwhile to also visit the lesser known East Bank.

Read more about the topics Blue Tourism as well as Coastal Defence and the Use of Mineral Resources.

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