Case Study: Vlissingen

Conceptualizing flexibility

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The very existence of the
Netherlands and its prosperity is tightly linked to the provision of sufficient
and reliable flood protection. Flood risk can change, as it is influenced by
continually changing environmental and socio-economic factors. In such a
dynamic situation, maintaining sufficient safety requires continuous investment
in maintenance and reinforcement of the flood defenses. Often, flood defense
reinforcement requires more space, which is scarce in densely populated urban
areas. While the competing needs of housing, commerce, transportation, and
agriculture have to fit in a relatively small surface area in the Netherlands,
the safety of the living environment and the quality of the landscape have to
be maintained as well. One way that has been suggested to deal with the
conflict between flood protection and urbanization is by combining activities
in the available space. This can be achieved by integrating urban functions
into the flood defenses; these are referred to as multifunctional flood