ROTTERDAM WATER CITY 2035
Urban water adventure
Rotterdam is an exceptional city with its low location at the mouth of a river, in a delta, close to the sea. The presence of this water is barely perceptible, however, in large parts of the city. Rotterdam is currently not a riverside city, but rather an unusual city trying to be as usual as possible. In the coming century the water will pose an increasing threat to the city from four directions: the sea, the river, the sky and the land. In this design study the water threat is seized upon to examine a number of other pressing topics in the city. five future perspectives not only sketch solutions for the water problem they also put forward opportunities for a more attractive city.
In the first perspective, the present sea level rise is counteracted by means of a new maritime defensive work that defines a city inside the dikes and a city outside the dikes far more distinctly than is presently the case. In the area outside the dikes measures are taken that allow for periodic flooding. The second perspective designates the Maas as the principal public domain, along and on which people can live. the tidal fluctuation of the water level should not be conceived as a problem in this context, but as a guarantee for an individual urban and architectural vocabulary of riverside housing. The third perspective not only pleads for a more expansive public transport system by water, but also for a smoother interlinking of the water network and the land network thus creating a comprehensive and attractive public transport system. The fourth perspective proposes the structural uncoupling of the rainwater discharge from the sewerage system in Rotterdam. Instead of further expansion of the costly underground water infrastructure, the retention, storage and discharge of rainwater is henceforth visible and audible in the public space. The last perspective highlights the ecological potential of the banks of the Maas.