In the Interreg Flanders-Netherlands project (Be)Leefbare Schelde, sustainable, social and cultural developments take place in the cross-border Scheldt Delta region.
From the coast to the hinterland, there are still so many pearls to discover in the Flemish-Dutch Scheldt region. From a common genesis and a coherent Scheldt estuary, lessons are being learned for the future.
The influence of water, soil, nature and the role of man in all this - this Flemish-Dutch border region has so much more to offer for residents and visitors. Within (Be)Leefbare Schelde, work is being done to improve the accessibility and experience of the Scheldt Delta region through the development of slow and sustainable mobility options and the development of local sites with and for its inhabitants. A joint effort is being made to have this region recognized as a Unesco Global Geopark. This will increase the recognizability and experience of the Scheldt Delta as one area, and residents and visitors will feel more connected to this special piece of earth.
In addition, cooperation and networking between education, research, government and entrepreneurs is promoted. (Be)Leefbare Schelde is strongly committed to sustainability to combat climate change and promote inclusiveness. In doing so, the project contributes at different levels to the sustainability and spread of tourism.
The shared history in tourism is a major economic opportunity, but it is also a major challenge of this border region. The tourist and recreational hotspots and coastal strip are among one of the most visited regions in Europe. In addition, many residents and immediate neighbors also make recreational use of the area. However, the coastal area in this border region is also one of the busiest regions in Europe, with a high degree of population density. To alleviate this pressure, the partners want to focus on spreading tourists: from the coast to the hinterland. After all, the entire region has so much beauty to offer.
Sustainability is the task
Worldwide, tourism is responsible for about 8 percent of total CO2 emissions. (Be)Leefbare Schelde partners are committed to improving access to the area by investing in slow (cycling/walking) and sustainable mobility options (shipping connections).
Furthermore, strong efforts are made to develop local sites, with, by and for its inhabitants and to increase the recognizability and experience of the Scheldt Delta as one area. All development plans always consider the best options to increase sustainability locally, reduce pressure on the environment and climate and promote inclusiveness.
Interreg Flanders Netherlands
(Be)leefbare Schelde is implemented from the Interreg Flanders Netherlands program with a grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of 4,801,094.47 euros. The project has a scope of 9,602,188.98 euro.
In (Be)Leefbare Schelde, 22 partners work together: HZ University of Applied Sciences, Beheerstichting Zuidwaterlinie Alliantie, municipality of Bergen op Zoom, municipality of Borsele, municipality of Kapelle, municipality of Puurs-Sint-Amands, municipality of Reimerswaal, municipality of Rumst, municipality of Tholen, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (KBIN)-Belgian Geological Survey (BGD), Province of Antwerp, Province of North Brabant, Province of East Flanders, Province of West Flanders, Province of Zeeland, City of Ostend, City of Sint-Niklaas, Foundation National Monument Watersnood 1953, Thomas More Mechelen-Antwerp vzw, Tourism East Flanders, Vrijbuiter Zeilen and Westtoer.
The overarching goal of (Be)Leefbare Schelde is the tourist development of the cross-border Scheldt Delta region as an accelerator for the sustainable, social, and cultural development of the future UNESCO Global Geopark (aUGGP) Scheldt Delta. The recognizability of the Scheldt Delta as a tourist area is increased by connecting the tourist offer, spreading tourists from the tourist hotspots to the pearls of the hinterland, deploying the guiding principles, influence of climate and water for the recognizability of the Scheldt Delta.
Work is also underway to develop and expand networks for the purpose of increasing participation and the development of a governance mechanism that will perpetuate future cooperation within the Scheldt Delta.