Coastal Town of the 21st Century by

Public Landscapes / Public Landscapes / Netherlands / Built in 2017 /

Long term vision – OKRA has been asked to give a vision of the future for a long term coastal defence strategy so that coastal safety is accompanied by a quality impulse for the small coastal town. The necessary coastal reinforcement offered an opportunity to develop a larger area, of around a kilometre, at the same time. Coastal Reinforcement- In the dynamic delta of South West Netherlands the coast is constantly changing. The process of sea level rise and the higher demands placed on safety require reinforcement of the coast. Along the coast, weak links were identified as places that were not strong enough to withstand a super storm that may occur once every 4000 years.

Kissing the princess awake – At the same time, it is necessary to shake off the image of a sleepy seaside town. To avoid further downward spiral the slowly degrading coastal town redevelopment is required out of economic necessity, aiming for year-round operation creating a renewed perspective of this part of the coast.



Connecting Cadzand-Bad with the sea – As a development strategy for Cadzand-Bad and connect it spatially with the sea OKRA proposed to take the public space as a framework, introducing wellness. Via zoning, rules have been defined for coastal development per coastal section. The ends of the long routes act as anchor points, active places, where buildings present themselves. In between hardscape is turned into softscape and the dune atmosphere will be introduced to the seaside town.

New marina – Specific solutions are offered for the anchor points. At the westside, a focal point is defined by changing the perspective of construction of stretch dams for coastal work: by designing them in a different way creation of a marina was made possible. This new marina itself today is a recreational destination; it has a promenade on top of the pier and some specific viewpoints. Events on a seaside square can be viewed on long seaside stands.

Tribute – Key to success lies in joining the inland Boulevard de Wielingen with the marina by lifting the road and creation of a new wooden square. For those who enter town, there is a sense of arrival. A special monument is carved into the sculptural space of the wooden square, the Walk of Freedom, a tribute to those who have received the four Freedoms awards issued each year, and according to the values of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Coastal development of the 21st century – The zoning of the coastal town, linked to rules for building and public space, ensures even in the long term of 50 years the frontline at sea meeting future and far-reaching requirements for coastal defence. The long-term perspective offers guarantees for a quality impulse. A focus on wellness makes the resort town obtain a new status of luxurious seaside resort. A significant increase in residential tourism has resulted in critical mass, which makes it possible to make the change from seasonal products to year-round operation.

Super storm proof – With the realisation of the southernmost coastal work, the last link in the national flood protection programme (HWBP) has been completed and the Dutch coast can safely withstand a superstorm. Minister Schulz van Haegen has openened the project since the project is exemplary of a new approach in which coastal safety is no longer a sectoral problem, but the task is an integral part of an area approach for the transformation of the seaside resort.


LILA 2024 Sponsor