The Ourthe Valley stretches across the entire Belgian province of Liège, successively taking in the Amblève and Vesder rivers before flowing into the Meuse a few kilometers further in Liège.
The July 2021 floods made it clear that the communities that have settled in the valley over the years are part of a fragile ecology.
This research will attempt to devise strategies to protect these vulnerable groups. Are local measures still useful? Can large buffer basins provide relief? Indeed, the specific geography of the Ardennes valleys with narrow valleys and steep slopes, do not offer much space to collect water and empty buffer basins are not really desirable for purposes such as recreation or drinking water supply.
This master's thesis research will explore with the community how residents themselves can take action to renew and densify their residential neighbourhoods in a climate-resilient and culturally resilient manner. Besides socio-cultural, touristic, economic and traffic technical aspects, water management, biological and landscape challenges are also included in this study.