The city centre’s Clausplein will be transformed into a green oasis after the installation of a new water drainage and storage system to combat the effects of climate change.
Councillor for public spaces and climate Rik Thijs put the finishing touches to the system on Wednesday, before planting can be laid.
The new water storage system is better able to drain and store rainwater, allowing for increased water retention in the area. This will protect the plants, as well as decreasing the chance of flooding in the event of extreme weather.
The greenery will provide cool air during hotter weather, and contribute to biodiversity. In particular, the aim is to reintroduce butterflies and bees to the city’s insect population.
A city council spokesman said the water buffer “consists of a 15cm ‘crate layer’ on impermeable foil. A ground substrate will be placed on the crates that is suitable for tree and plant growth.”
The crate layer serves as water storage, which means the water remains available for plants and trees during dry periods. A parking garage located under the square means the plants cannot use groundwater.
Besides rainwater, the water storage layer will also be filled via rain pipes mounted on the roof at Witte Dame.