Waterfront cities and towns worldwide are upgrading their flood defences. Interventions often involve the construction of flood-walls. While these walls provide the necessary protection, the downside is that the waterfront becomes increasingly hard-edged, resulting in a loss of amenity value and biodiversity. The result of this is that we become increasingly walled off and disconnected from the water environment.
In the scenic town of Northwich, UK, a sheet pile flood defence wall was required in the centre, and there were concerns at the planning stage regarding the aesthetic and ecological impacts of this wall.
A floating riverbank was constructed from Biomatrix 4D floating ecosystem modules that were custom designed to match the curvature of the wall. This floating ecosystem softens the steel-clad wall, providing habitat and a natural waterscape aesthetic. Stone cladding and glass panels were also utilised. This project demonstrates a robust and innovative solution to allow the essential work of flood alleviation schemes to proceed, while actually enhancing the waterscape’s ecological potential and natural beauty.