Sustainable development – Perkpolder ferry port


The Perkpolder used to be a busy ferry-port, but after construction of the Westerschelde tunnel somewhat further west the ferry connection was shut down and the terminal area started to degrade. The Dutch government (Rijkswaterstaat, the Province of Zeeland and the Municipality of Hulst) proposed a revitalization project to boost the local economy, to enhance the quality of life and to create additional nature areas as a compensation measure for other projects nearby. Additionally, authorities recognized the opportunity to integrate innovative flood protection into the design.

The decision to revitalise the Perkpolder area was initiated by a cooperation of the local, provincial and national governments. They saw the opportunity of an integrated plan that would benefit the economy, the inhabitants and the environment.

Project Solution

The solution of the Perkpolder project includes an innovative flood protection scheme and an integral design, based on the vision named “enjoying the elements”, in which living, recreation and nature are combined. The heart of the polder will become an exclusive residential complex and the eastern part will be turned into a nature reserve. Moreover, the whole polder will be protected against flooding following the principle of managed realignment: the old dike will be breached after a new one has been be built further inland and the area in between is left to nature and can serve as a floodplain to storm surges..
The BwN-dimension of this project lies in the innovative flood protection scheme and the integral design that combines socio-economic, infrastructural and environmental aspects.

Governance context

Governance concerning this project aims at collaboration. Different levels of government combined their forces to initiate the project and the planning, design and construction phases were executed by various parties in cooperation. Moreover, stakeholder and public participation has been integrated in the project from the beginning.

More information on the governance aspects in projects can be found on the Governance pages of the guideline.