Travaux d’infrastructures et biodiversité

The streets Zilverberkstraat and Leeuwerikstraat form an existing part of the town, but were completely redone.
Expanding the green-blue network

City : Flanders

Region : Western Flanders

Project by : Aquafin

Joined on : Oct 2022


The streets Zilverberkstraat and Leeuwerikstraat form an existing part of the town, but were completely redone. An ideal opportunity to rethink the approach to stormwater.

There were quite a few challenges: the area has a high water table and the soil is poorly permeable. However, for this project we aimed at complete infiltration of stormwater in a green way.

An infiltrating sub-foundation was installed under the road surface that is itself permeable. When it rains hard, and the water flows to the side of the road, it ends up in wadis or in parking spaces with grass paving.

Still too much water? Not to worry, the overflow leads to a pipe under the road. The homes are also connected to this pipe via an infiltration sewer connection.

Who is involved?

City of Turnhout, Aquafin and Tractebel-Engie NV, Vangeel road construction

Nature-based solutions

These soil desealing measures and the wadis have created more opportunities for biodiversity, along with better water management that helps maintain biodiversity. Trees were also planted to help foster ecological connectivity. The project is located on the edge of the city, drawing the natural outdoors into the city. Through appropriate roadside vegetation management, opportunities can be further enhanced by the city.

How are the criteria met?

Respect and/or enhance the specific environmental and ecological qualities of the area (e.g. topography, landscape type, local flora and fauna, etc.). Use nature/natural processes to support biodiversity to address the challenges of climate change, water management (including flood management).

Maintenance criterion:
As these projects are on public domain, everything depends on proper management by the local administration afterwards.


  • Using nature/natural processes fostering biodiversity which address challenges related to climate change, water management or soil degradation, and providing socio-economic and environmental benefits while having a net benefit for biodiversity. -> Infiltration with blue-green elements combined with a social use of the newly created green spaces
  • Integrated/holistic approach with other relevant actions to address the challenges related to water management including flood control (inland and along coast), soil degradation and climate change adaptation and mitigation. ->Climate adaptive, water management, social tissue
  • Respect of environmental and ecological qualities of the specific area
  • Respect of landscape values and integration in the surrounding nature -> Draws the green suburban zone of Turnhout into the city
  • Fostering the ecological connectivity -> Draws the green suburban zone of Turnhout into the city
  • Adequate maintenance of the nature-based solution on the long term. ->Robust and supported design


There is more nature experience, the open space can be used for meeting people and recreation, and the desealing and greening measures also had traffic calming effects. Biodiversity gets much more space here than in the original situation with soil sealing or small patches of lawn/plants lined with high curbs. With appropriate mowing management, this might even improve in the future..

Other projects linked to the objective "Nature-based solutions"

Organic farm 'Natuurboerderij Bolhuis'

Organic farm 'Natuurboerderij Bolhuis'

La ferme naturelle « Het Bolhuis » est une ferme d’élevage biologique qui travaille en étroite collaboration avec « Natuurpunt » et « Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos » (ANB).

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