Keeping Antwerp dry through mobile flood defences


Climate disruption is accompanied by rising sea levels, among other things. A mobile flood barrier on the Scheldt quays in Antwerp should protect the city from rising water.

The Scheldt quays in Antwerp are being rebuilt, stabilised and raised over a length of 7 km as a precautionary measure. But extra work is needed to prevent the city from being partly flooded during storm tides. To this end, a delegation from the city council in Delft, the Netherlands, had previously attended a test of a mobile flood barrier. It has now been decided to install such one in Antwerp as well.
Over 1 km from the end of 2024, beginning of 2025, an 842 m long mobile wall will be embedded underground in a kind of promenade, between the Loodswezen in the north and the Zuiderterras in the south of the city centre zone. In case of flooding, a push of a button is all it takes to raise that wall to the height via a pumping system and water pressure. As long as there is no foul, it is simply hidden in the ground. Thus, the connection between river and city is not lost on normal days.
When the planned works are over in late 2028, early 2029, the city of the Scheldt will be able to boast the longest mobile flood defence system in the world.