Climate change has been affecting countries in the 2 Seas Region (Belgium, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and France) more severely than expected. Extreme weather conditions that threaten the integrity of levees along the coast and the rivers are becoming more frequent and intense. Are flood defences safe enough, and how effective will emergency response be in case of a levee failure? How can the combination of flood defences and emergency response remain effective in light of the emerging circumstances? These questions are relevant to local stakeholders whose prosperity and wellbeing depend upon flood resilience.

Participants of the Polder2C's project on a dike inspection within the research area.
Polder2C’s offers a rare opportunity to test and improve flood resilience by improving climate change adaptation capacity on a strategic, tactical and operational level. Thirteen partners from the 2 Seas Region and more than thirty ‘observer’ organisations have come together to design, execute and evaluate a series of experiments on levee performance and emergency response in the Hedwige-Prosperpolder. This is a unique site of 6 km2 that is currently being depoldered, allowing the development of a new tidal area. As a new levee is being built, the old levee and the land behind it will be used as a living lab for in-situ tests and large scale exercises.

Polder2C’s places a great importance in transfer of knowledge to students and young professionals. The Living lab Hedwige-Prosper will accommodate events focused on education and will welcome students to participate in field activities. A levee winterschool, levee challenge and excursions are some examples of possibilities for the next generation to become actively involved in Polder2C’s.

Research type: field research, desk analysis, lab research

Location: Hedwige- and Prosperpolder, the Netherlands and Belgium

Thematic areas

Living Lab Climate Adaptive Flood Defences

Living Lab Emergency Response

Knowledge Infrastructure

Benefits for local stakeholders

  • Boosting cross-border collaboration: Being partly in the Netherlands (Hedwige polder) and partly in Belgium (Prosper polder), the Living lab Hedwige-Prosper allows to compare and contrast the Dutch and Belgian approach of flood management, and to test and improve transboundary collaboration of relevant stakeholders.
  • Raising flood awareness: By analysing the perceptions of local communities and stakeholders, opportunities to raise flood awareness and preparedness of general public in the area will be presented.
  • Involving local students: Taking advantage of their geographical proximity, students from Zeeland and Flanders can exploit the educational opportunities offered in the Living Lab Hedwige-Prosper with little effort.

External links

Official Polder2C's Website

Polder2C’s on Twitter

Polder2C’s on LinkedIn