Enschede thinking big to tackle waterlogging in the Twekkelerveld neighbourhood

Under the GreenBlue Twekkelerveld project, the city of Enschede is tackling waterlogging in the Twekkelerveld neighbourhood. A new sewer system and a brook enable the concurrent storage, infiltration, and delayed discharge of large volumes of water. The measures also combat heat stress and drought, and improve biodiversity. Enschede is thus preparing for climate change and enhancing the quality of life in Twekkelerveld.

What is the reason for this project?

Twekkelerveld is one of the lower lying areas in Enschede. During heavy rainfall, water from other parts of the city flows to this neighbourhood, which makes it prone to waterlogging. Severe downpours regularly result in water entering the homes and manhole covers floating up. Furthermore, the municipality has noticed that the frequency of heavy rain and dry, hot summers is increasing. In the future, the situation will only worsen. Enschede intends to be properly prepared.

What is going to happen?

Enschede expects that work can begin before the summer 2021. The plans for the Twekkelerveld neighbourhood are outlined below.

  • Underneath several streets and the Rigtersbleek sports park fields, additional sewer pipes will be provided to drain clean water.
  • In Pijlhovestraat street, grated gutters will be constructed to drain water.
  • A green section of the neighbourhood has sufficient room for above-ground rainwater collection. Here, the fields will be lowered, and a 60-cm ditch will be dug. During rainfall, the ditch will fill with water and turn into a brook. A proportion of the water will drain into the soil; the remainder will flow to the Twente Canal. Very severe downpours will cause the brook to overflow, whereupon the lowered fields will temporarily collect the excess water. This will happen at an average of once a year. Within 24 hours, the water will have infiltrated the soil or been drained into the Twente Canal.
  • The area along the brook will be redesigned with trees, plants, and footpaths.
  • Road safety in Goolkatenweg and Spoordijkstraat streets will be improved.

‘GreenBlue Twekkelerveld is killing several birds with one stone,’ says Alderman Jurgen van Houdt. ‘The construction of nearly 1.5 kilometres of new sewers and a new brook – the blue vein as we call it – will enable us to store 11 million litres of water, i.e., some thousand tankers full. And we are creating work with work, because several streets that need to be dug up anyway for the new sewer will be narrowed to improve traffic safety. The space that is freed up will be planted with additional greenery. In an area the size of four football fields, we are enhancing biodiversity by planting a wider range of flowers, plants, and trees. Thus, we are making Twekkelerveld greener and bluer. The project gives the quality of the living environment in this part of the city a significant boost.’

Brooks will be restored at other locations, too

Twekkelerveld is one of the ten locations in Enschede running the highest risk of waterlogging. Other such locations include the Pathmos and Stadsveld neighbourhoods. Five years ago, the authorities decided to tackle these ten vulnerable locations. One of the measures being implemented to this end is the partial restoration of the old brook structure in Enschede. In the past, 82 brooks criss-crossed the city, most of which have disappeared due to development projects. Wherever possible, the brooks are constructed above-ground. These brooks are capable of collecting large volumes of rainwater at the same time and then gradually draining the water. In addition, they combat dehydration and provide cooling during hot days.

Goals in figures

GreenBlue Twekkelerveld is a major project. In the next few years, the municipality of Enschede intends to achieve the following goals:

  • Adding a total of 1,300 metres of new rainwater sewers;
  • Creating a total of approximately 11,000 m3 of water storage;
  • Seeding 10,000 m2 with a flowery grass mix and 6,000 m2 with a grass roadside mix.

Planning and lessons to be learned

Any specifics regarding the timeframe will be shared on this page. And once the project has been completed, the municipality of Enschede will also share its lessons to be learned here.

Contact person

Lies Rubingh

Project type
Completed measure
Gemeente Enschede & Waterschap Vechtstromen
District / neighborhood
Drought, Heat, Waterlogging