City of the Future
There is no list of Europe’s most progressive cities in which Rotterdam is not featured nowadays. Within the Netherlands, Rotterdam occupies a special place, since it is the only big city in which the whole centre has been bombed and destroyed during the 1940 blitz. Thus, it became a place that had to rebuild and reinvent itself and over the years, gained a modern, raw and urban character. It is less known that Rotterdam has always been a town where the population was focusing on the future. Forced by the rapid growth of the harbours, the city developed itself continuously since the 1870s and quickly learned how to cope with the latest inventions and economics of each particular decade.
Like every big city nowadays, Rotterdam is facing new challenges in becoming a green, climate-proof, liveable and affordable city. Luckily this viable city, with its modern architectural tradition, is apt to take up these challenges. This also includes a transformation of the port of Rotterdam, which aims to play a leading role in the global energy transition (learn more in the M4H and RDM excursions M4H en RDM linken). Together with a guide, you’ll discover which sustainable solutions are being developed in Rotterdam at the moment.
Three inspiring examples:
On the former terrain of hockey club Leonidas in the neighbourhood the Esch, the municipality of Rotterdam started a project in which individuals can, under certain conditions, design and create their own sustainable dream house. Slowly this new residential area with a fully green character is forming and expanding itself. As long as the houses meet all the sustainability requirements that were set by the municipality, almost everything seems to be possible in the new eco-district Leonidas. That way, a totally new and truly unique part of Rotterdam is being formed. With its wide diversity in styles and various sustainable building solutions on a relatively small surface, eco-district Leonidas is a true showcase of contemporary innovative architecture.
DakAkker en Waterplein
Two innovative examples of climate adaptation can be found on the edge of the city centre. The largest open-air rooftop farm is located on top of the creative collective workspace the Schieblock. The DakAkker brings more biodiversity, reduces heat stress in the city and also provides small-scale local food production. Close by, the Bentheimplein has been transformed into a smart and future-proof Waterplein in collaboration with students from the surrounding schools. Special reservoirs collect the excess rainwater to relieve the sewage system. On dry days, the square is a spectacular sports field for the students.
Eiland van Brienenoord
In the middle of the city, underneath the impressive van Brienenoordbridge, a tiny island is hidden with wild fruit trees, wild birds and a small herd of Schottish highlanders. The wide range of biodiversity on the Eiland van Brienoord makes you forget you’re still in town. Besides discovering nature, the cultural centre Buitenplaats Brienoord facilitates a wide range of activities on the island for inhabitants and visitors to think about the future of Rotterdam.