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The future of coastal cities: is high-rise the answer?

Belgian coastal cities in 2030. What will they look like and what challenges will they face? And when will we need flippers instead of slippers in our ground floor apartments on the sea dyke?

Our 60 kilometres of coastline are built to capacity. High-rise building may seem like the answer but often meets with opposition. The question is also how high project developers are supposed to build because due to the specific nature of the environment, architecture and coastal building policies demand a different approach than in an urban or rural environment. Many developers have found that coastal towns are not exactly accommodating when they submit plans for a project proposing to build higher than usual and are faced with a strict building permit policy.

If the predictions of some climate experts become reality, high-rise building will probably be outlawed completely. Due to climate change, sea levels are expected to rise by more than sixty centimetres by the year 2100 and this would have an unmistakable impact on our coast as this would put parts of West and East Flanders below sea level.

So are artificial islands the only solution? Is there a waterproof future for coastal cities?

The mayors of Knokke-Heist, Ostend and Nieuwpoort present their vision on these challenges for the coastal cities in a debate.

Debate organized by BVS/UPSI with moderator/journalist Kathleen Cools. “The future and opportunities of real estate at the coast”

The guests will be:

  • Bart Tommelein – Mayor Ostend
  • Dirk De fauw – Mayor Bruges
  • Count Leopold Lippens – Mayor Knokke-Heist

Check out the complete programme

full realty programme