Smart and green water nodes
31 May 2018
Waterway managers turn waterside brownfields into new carbon neutral industrial zones for renewable energy, the bio-based and circular economy. Exploiting uncongested waterways becomes an increasingly important factor in spatial planning. Public acceptance for the expansion of more land transport infrastructure is constantly decreasing, while existing road are increasingly clogged.
Two good examples of unlocking the benefit of water-bound communications and combining multiple functions are the Tech Lane Ghent and Blue Gate in Antwerp.
Tech Lane Ghent/Campus A is a vibrant ecosystem of international corporate R&D centres, public research institutes and high-tech growth enterprises, providing a stimulating environment to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. It is also an industrial park combining water-bound logistics, knowledge industry and nature development on an urban island with an area of 50 hectares.
Antwerp Blue Gate is a circular, eco-effective, water-bound business park. It is located at Petroleum South, which was once the very heart of the Antwerp and European petroleum industry. Today, the site has been cleaned up and hosts a climate neutral business park which is reserved for innovative companies with a well-defined ambition: linear growth through circular operations. Transport is optimised with cluster quays for in- and outbound inland goods flows, plus a zone for smart logistics facilitating as much as possible water transport for multimodal city distribution. In addition to water-bound transport, multimodal commuting is promoted through bikes or buses instead of cars. Cycle paths, bike highways and new public transport stops are being built.