- Rotterdam: Living with Water    click here to open paper content380 kb
by    Vonk, Liese | liese.vonk@minvrom.nl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Central in the concept of Waterstad is to turn water and its problems more into an opportunity. In this concept every household has near access to water. The question is: Will the concept lead to more integration?
Rotterdam: living with water
The attractivity of water: integration of segregation?

In the Netherlands water is both a friend and an enemy. What is clear is that the Netherlands is adjusting to the water. There are more than one water related problems in the Netherlands. And these problems have their influence on the landscape of Holland and the creativity of its people concerning the solutions for the water. One of the recent developments is the role of beauty of water in urban design as expression of collective identification for the inhabitants of a city combined with other functions of water like infrastructure and water storage. In Rotterdam they are planning to see water as an opportunity instead of a threat. They came up with the idea of Waterstad (Waterway city). Waterstad is also an outcome of the masterclass of the international architectural bienale held in 2005 in Rotterdam.

The river Maas runs through the heart of the city and offers both physically, historically and programme-wise the opportunity for metropolism. The government wants the river become again part of the cities collective identity and therefore become central in the mental map of its inhabitants. In the plans of Rotterdam Waterstad 2035 the river Maas becomes a versatile public space and along which people live, work and recreate. In this scenario the city will be recontructed and every house will have its own back garden on a waterway. But the question is ‘Is this plan not too much focused on middle and higher incomes? Water houses are mostly expensive. And therefor it raises the question: ‘is the water also an opportunity for integration or will it create (more) segregation?’
Waterrelated problems, opportunity of water in design
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