Frederiksplein provides water storage and social cohesion
On Wednesday, 12 October, a new water plaza is opened at Frederiksplein in Rotterdam. What makes this plaza unique is that under normal circumstances, it serves as a playground, while in extreme weather conditions, it will catch rainwater runoff from the immediate surroundings.
The structure involves no technical installations, nor will the clean rainwater be discharged into the sewers. The water plaza will also contribute to greater social cohesion in the Crooswijk district. Local residents were consulted on the design of the plaza, which includes seats, green infrastructure, and a football pitch. Students of the Oscar Romeroschool have contributed to drawing the picture that adorns the centre of the plaza.
The Rotterdam approach
Climate change, soil subsidence and urbanization all combine to increase the risk of flooding. The City of Rotterdam, the Schieland and Krimpenerwaard Higher Water Board, and Havensteder housing association have teamed up with local residents in finding multifunctional solutions to prevent flooding at and around Frederiksplein as much as possible. This comprehensive approach increases the district’s resilience: Frederiksplein anticipates the consequences of climate change, improves the quality of public open areas, while at the same time contributing to the social cohesion of the community.
The water plaza at Frederiksplein is a typical example of Rotterdam’s approach to anticipating the consequences of climate change. The Rotterdam approach generates worldwide media exposure, which in turn creates opportunities for local consultancies and design firms.
For more information about the 100 Resilient Cities Network, go to www.100resilientcities.org.