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Dijkversterking Hoorn-Amsterdam

With a lot of ambition, creativity and perseverance SMARTLAND explores the opportunities for recreation in the dyke reinforcement Hoorn-Amsterdam. Commissioned by Recreation Board Twiske-Waterland. In a few years, residents, holidaymakers and tourists will experience the unique open Markermeer Landscape, Medieval peat meadows scenery and the 800 year old dyke itself, from the subtly reinforced integral 21st century dyke!

For nearly 10 years now, studies are being carried out to strengthen the 40 KMs of dyke between Hoorn and Amsterdam, the edge of the 'Blue Heart' of the Netherlands. Earlier this was less necessary by the possible construction of the polder Markerwaard, but with the final deletion of this project it became topical. Climate change and new safety standards further contributed to the need for amplification. This historic dyke, or 800 years old and protected as Provincial Monument, is vulnerable on many items. Sometimes the dyke is too low or the cladding is too bad, but especially during prolonged high water woes it might slip off to the inside in many places. Water Board Hollands Noorderkwartier, together with Arcadis and Boskalis united in the Alliance Markermeerdijken, is responsible for the technical reinforcement. Recreation Board Twiske-Waterland has solidified to seize the unique opportunity offered by this dike reinforcement, namely improving recreational opportunities in and around the dyke, as part of an integral plan also improving nature and historic values. She asked SMARTLAND continue inserting and fitting recreation in the technical dyke reinforcement project.

Especially in the southern part near Amsterdam the number of holidaymakers and tourists are increasing very rapidly. On sunny days, it can be crowded on the small dyke paths. Here we will widen the cycle path and give pedestrians a private path in the outer slope close to the water. Small bathing beaches and jetties make the water even more accessible. On the historic capes we provide some extra space for a bench and information. Together a delicate balance between improving services and preserving the valuable small-scale character.

To the north, above Edam, recreational pressure decreases slightly. Here the goal of the project is to create a better perception of nature and the endless water landscape. This will contribute to the public appreciation and thus to preserve the open nature. We try to save the 800-year old dike as far as possible by not destroying the old dike core, where monks and peasants it started in the 12th century, but to give it a new recreational function.

The northernmost part of the dyke is reinforced with an exposed and low ‘oeverdijk’. A path here adds a unique new experience of the open water landscape. In Hoorn, this path leads to a recreational beach and a promenade, that connects to the historic Hoofdtoren in the old town as final destination.

By these integrated interventions we create a beautiful and culturally rich route from Amsterdam to Hoorn and vice versa. Of great importance for recreation and tourism in the region and from the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. As unique part of the 'Circle around Markermeer', to close the Netherlands Blue Heart in every heart…

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