The demand for more natural forms of coastal defence is ever-increasing. CASSANDRA responds to this demand and investigates what is still needed to create a living lab where nature-based solutions come together in an integrated way.
Dec 2022 - Dec 2023
DBC project, National project

CASSANDRA aims to explore the missing links and identify the gaps that need to be closed to prepare an ambitious R&D project (VLAIO or European project) to establish a large-scale nature-based solution (NBS) living lab for sandy coasts, on the one hand, and to increase acceptance of the implementation of integrated NBS for coastal resilience, on the other.

The main objective is to create a testing ground plan and road map in which technological, economic, societal and administrative aspects are integrated. The general objective is to assess the feasibility and define the boundaries, architecture, location(s) and long-term goals of a large-scale living lab that can serve as an NBS demonstrator in an integrated way.

Various elements, such a coastal protection, nature, ecosystem development, fresh water management and carbon capture, are completely included in the story. This completely innovative approach will make the (natural and functional) study of the integrated solution approach possible. 

The project will investigate how future NBS services can be developed, not only for direct implementation on the Belgian North Sea coast, but also as an international demonstrator. The aim is to close the knowledge gap to define the NBS living lab and increase the chances of success of a complete R&D project proposal for a living lab project.

The knowledge steps cover:

  • technical aspects, or which integrated NBS can be applied on a large scale along sandy coasts;
  • economic aspects, or which new business models can be created and how NBS can be financed in the future by the integration of carbon credits and ecosystem services;
  • social aspects, or the readiness to implement NBS in local and regional governments and investigate how NBS can be linked to education, blue and/or ecotourism and awareness;
  • legal-administrative aspects, or how NBS can be integrated in ongoing initiatives (such as Kustvisie and think tank North Sea) and the policy of the government and local stakeholders.

The CASSANDRA project will eliminate the risks related to:

  • social acceptance;
  • the definition of integrated NBS;
  • financing; and
  • permits and administration.

Partners: Haedes, Econopolis, DEME, IMDC and Jan De Nul

With the support of: VLAIO (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

Contact: Kristien Veys

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