Converting an abandoned area near the Waterschei mine to an attractive and ecologically valuable (meeting) area with restoration of the water management system
Schansbroek is situated at the source area of the Stiemerbeek stream, at the coal mine of Waterschei. The former mining activities completely disrupted the area. Due to mining subsidence, natural water runoff is no longer possible. Instead rainfall and groundwater are continuously pumped to the Stiemerbeek. Furthermore, the lower water levels disturbed the ecosystem. The poor drainage causes flooding, which is a problem for local residents. Although a 16th century defensive structure ‘De Schans’ can be found in the project area, the surroundings are unattractive and there is a lack of recreational infrastructure for visitors, residents and employees of the neighboring business site ‘Thorpark’.
In 2013, a land development plan for the Schansbroek area was designed to attractively redevelop the area. The development plan describes measures to redesign the area as a wet ecotope. Planned measures include a water level rise, restoring a natural dam to prevent the nature site from drying, restoring two ponds and a pool, and an ecologically friendly transformation of an artificial water reservoir for former mining activities. At the same time, the drainage ditches have to be redeveloped to protect local residents from regular water flooding.
In order to design the area as a multifunctional natural landscape park with green meeting places, walking paths, a functional bike connection or an allotment garden, several participation workshops were organized. As a result, a first design for the neigbourhood park Schansbroek was presented at the beginning of 2015.