To steer the concept for the Regeneration of Zeebrugge urban renewal project, the City of Bruges appointed a design team consisting of 51N4E, Tractebel, Rebel, Simply Community and Architecture Workroom Brussels. One of the major problems in Zeebrugge is that, due to the expansion of the port, the village has become disjointed, resulting in four residential districts. The extremely dense port traffic creates barriers between the districts and poses a threat to their liveability. Other challenges Zeebrugge faces concern providing clarity amid the existing tangle of processes and projects, boosting the relationship between the port and living in the area, and creating more quality public space.

The objective of the study is to develop a long-term vision that should improve the connection between the four districts and their link to the port. This must involve a realistic future vision for Zeebrugge’s systematic upgrading. The study provides a comprehensive future framework for transforming Zeebrugge step-by-step, as a result of which other bottlenecks will logically be reduced as well.

The main conclusion of this study is that Zeebrugge is more than an industrial and logistics port. It still has the potential to regain its appeal as a place to live, reside, visit, and experience, as well as to work. Realistically this is a long-term ambition and the study serves as a guide for the coming policy period(s) to systematically, but consistently and coherently, implement initiatives in Zeebrugge. It also constitutes the basis for elaborating proposals at the project level during the coming years.

During the competition phase of this project the design team proposed four possible future visions: Zeebrugge as a city, Zeebrugge as a seaside resort, Zeebrugge as a place of work and Zeebrugge as a polder. The options for a new sea lock were studied in detail during the study. These future visions are potential interpretations of Zeebrugge, each of which is based on a quality that is already available today, but that will be further activated or enhanced in the long term. Whatever option that is selected, in each case a positive redevelopment scenario will be sought, a robust future story that offers a framework for the different developments in Zeebrugge.

Type: Concept study

Year: 2018

Client: City of Bruges

Partners: 51N4E, Tractebel, Rebel, Simply Community