Bremen Überseestadt Beach Park (Germany)

The shore zone of the Bremen Überseestadt (an urban development project currently being implemented in the old docks in Bremen) is protected against flooding. Thanks to the lively participation of citizens in the run-up, the construction and redevelopment activities will also create an attractive city beach. HeidelbergCement supplies sand and armourstones for the 2.2-hectare area through its Joint Ventures Mibau and WIKA.

No separation between city and water, but rather new spaces for leisure activities and recreation on the banks: The "Waller Sand" pilot project is an example of how flood control can achieve added value for the neighbouring housing areas. In Bremen, this balancing act has been successful: the measures required for coastal protection around a new urban quarter go hand in hand with the upgrading of the site for the residents.

With an area of almost 300 hectares, the Bremen Überseestadt is one of the largest urban development projects in Europe. The old harbour area is being transformed into a modern location for living and culture, integrated into a well thought-out mix of services, industry and port management. On behalf of the Senator for Economics, Labour and Ports of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH is responsible for the infrastructure projects. In addition to the development, opening up and marketing of the new urban quarter, it also includes the construction of a sustainable flood protection system.

According to the master plan for coastal protection, the shore area at the turning basin in Überseehafen must be raised by 90 to 120 centimetres. While the edge of the bank on the large water surface was still an unattractive, functional rockfill a short time ago, a beach park designed by the Berlin landscape architects A24 with a remarkable view of the industrial backdrop of the city is being created here.

Until this demanding infrastructure project has been completed, Mibau and WIKA, who share the supply contract for the project, will provide many more tons of sand and armourstones. For the realisation, for example, rinsing dikes are required as a new embankment, in the protection of which thousands of cubic meters of sand have to be washed up against the embankment. Mibau provides larger aggregates and armourstones via ship deliveries from its Jelsa quarry in Norway. The required sand comes from the nearby Kapern mining site of WIKA Sand und Kies.

Bernd Klose, managing director of WIKA, gets an idea of the process on site from time to time. "The materials from Norway are landed and loaded in batches of up to 30,000 tonnes in Bremen Industrial Port with WIKA's own self-discharging ships. Grain sizes of up to 180 millimetres can be transported directly by conveyor belt to work ships of the executing consortium (ARGE)".

With a special vacuum ship, a hopper excavator with over 550 HP of pump drive, ARGE also picks up the required sand directly at the WIKA mining site in nearby Kapern. There, near the Weser river, it is mined by wet mining and returned to the overseas port. The highly motivated WIKA team will coordinate and monitor the extraction of the 160,000 cubic metres of sand needed to flush the beach section, and will supervise the removal of ARGE's own sand.

At the future 'Waller Sand' Beach Park, flushing dikes were first installed on the water side of the construction site. Behind these, sand was introduced with a time delay by means of a flushing process. Both works started below the water surface. In the meantime, the future sandy beach is already visible. Only when the beach has been completely filled up, the terrain can be modelled and the park be designed as planned. It will offer a 300 metre long city beach including leisure facilities to the public. Selected plantings in the form of dune landscapes, wooden plank footbridges and a waterfront path along the water's edge will create an attractive public space that also has an urban planning function.

Since the official ground-breaking ceremony in the summer of 2017, the construction site at the turning basin in the northwestern Überseestadt has been attracting curious visitors who want to get an idea of the developments on site. Initially, the new sandy beach was only visible at low tide. In the meantime, one can also discover the beach section at high tide. 

In the early summer of 2019, all activities on the newly designed bank section are to be completed and opened to the public. In spite of the inviting beach, bathing remains prohibited; after all, it is still an active port facility with shipping traffic.

Project Data

  • City of Bremen


  • A24 LANDSCHAFT Landschaftsarchitektur GmbH, Berlin


  • ARGE Weiche Kante, Bremen


  • 160.000 m3 sand,


  • 2019


Bremen Überseestadt Beach Park, Germany.

Bremen Überseestadt Beach Park, Germany.

Coastal protection Bremer Überseestadt, Germany.

Weser ship Bremer Überseestadt, Germany.