Project SteenGoed

Building blocks for an integral approach to (former) brick factory sites

VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL), the province of Gelderland, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the National Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE), the Dutch government organisation for Forestry and the management of nature reserves, the Royal Dutch Association for Building Ceramics (KNB), the HAN University of Applied Sciences and Helicon are working together in the SteenGoed project.

In this project, research is being conducted into about 80 (former) brick factory sites in the river area of the province of Gelderland. These flood-free territories located outside the dykes stay largely dry in the event of high water levels in the river. These territories are naturally elevated or were elevated for industrial activities in the floodplains among other things. The (former) brick factory sites, which have largely fallen into disuse are becoming ruins in many cases.


Considering the large number of these areas, it is clear that these sites could make a substantial contribution to the vitality, safety and climate adaptation in the river area in the event of redevelopment. The expectation is that more sites will be eligible for redevelopment in the long term. In addition, there are very modern, capital-intensive brick factories that are economically important, and which are often the property of international listed companies. The main issue for the stakeholders is how all these sites can be (re)developed in the medium and long term in a way that does justice to both the individual possibilities of the site and to the integral development of the entire river area.

Integral approach

This project offers a solution to the question of how the pros and cons of the integral redevelopment of the sites can be considered, where elements such as flood risk management, housing, nature development, agriculture, industry and recreation should be taken into account. 

SteenGoed aims to offer action perspectives to policymakers, proprietors and managers in the river area in the province of Gelderland, enabling them to make informed choices regarding the (re)development of flood-free territories in the short, medium and long term. An integral approach is used here for flood risk management, nature, economic development and cultural heritage. This will result in a development strategy that has broad support, and which is reinforced with representative pilot studies, including business cases that serve as an example and inspiration for the other sites. 


In addition, this project aims to evaluate the added value and limitations of various decision-making tools (serious games, interactive dashboards) in the various stages of strategy formation and planning for such an integral approach. This will make it clear how such tools can be applied effectively in other complex decision-making processes in river management. We will also test and continue to develop the applicability in education, by involving (lecturer) researchers and students in the various stages of the project. 

The project runs from February 2018 until February 2020.

Want to know more?

Would you like to know more about the SteenGoed project? Please contact the project manager Sara Eeman: [email protected], download the poster NCR days or check the website Sustainable River Management: a shared professorship