Development of natural water storage areas/valleys and hotspot for insects
Woluweveld (Zaventem) and the valleys of Vuilbeek and Kleine Maalbeek (Zaventem, Kraainem, Wezembeek-Oppem) are one of the few remaining open spaces in the northeast of Brussels. Due to urbanization, large parts of soil have become sealed. The original natural valley character of this area also slowly disappeared. Water is now transported underground in artificial pipe infrastructure (instead of natural water courses) and water infiltration is limited due to soil sealing. This has resulted in flooding in these areas.
In this project area the underground artificial water course will be brought to the surface and redeveloped into its original natural structure. Wadis will form an essential part of this process of ecological upgrading. Wadis are undeep natural water storage areas, to enable rainwater to slowly infiltrate (and thus limit flooding in the surrounding areas).
Due to the natural character of a wadi, additional local forest planting and the creation of insect hotspots, the local biodiversity is improved. Additionally, in this project area a natural park, walking paths, orchards (for fruit picking) and a more attractive landscape will be designed and developed for visitors and inhabitants.
Near the national airport, green areas will be transformed into more natural areas with “space” for open water bodies.