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A new profile for the Nieuw-Loosdrechtse Dike,NL

The Nieuw-Loosdrechtse dijk, a dike, which connects the little villages Muyeveld, Nieuw-Loosdrecht and Oud- Loosdrecht, is part of a typical Dutch landscape, which has been strongly influenced by men. The U-shaped dike, which is situated close to the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, was the former basis for the mining of peat from the 11th until 16th century. This resulted in great lakes now called the ‘Loosdrechtse plassen’.

Nowadays these lakes have a great ecological and touristic value and attract each year more tourists to the area. This results in the increase of traffic along the narrow dike.

The municipality Wijdemeren want to optimise the dike profile and commissioned Natuurlijke Zaken to organise a participatory design process for the 3km long part of the dike “ Boomhoek’. I was asked by Natuurlijke Zaken to contribute to the design of this new profile, by making the graphical content, and to assist in the a participatory process during different workshops with the local stakeholders.

To come to the perfect model, which the suits both the wishes and needs of the (seasonal -) users of the area, a series of meetings with the local stakeholders and habitants is organised. They are asked to actively participate in the debate and design process. In several sessions we together draw and discuss the different possibilities, needs and current problems of the dike and we explain, regulatory, technical and site-specific conditions, in order to develop together a new customised profile. This new profile will stand as an example to the rest of the dike, which continues over a distance of 10 km.

The limited space in the profile and a fairly limited budget make it an extra challenge to improve the dike for all users. However the intermediate position between the municipality and the locals and the combined top-down and bottom–up process help to come collectively, to the best new profile within the boundaries of budget, space and various users.

The process is an initiative of Natuurlijke Zaken in commission of the Municipality of Wijdemeren, the Netherlands.

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