In the Rotterdam of 2100, there is also space for the local production of food and raw materials, creating raw material chains at urban level. The Alexander Canyon is a place where crops are grown on terraces, which produce food and building materials. The supply route of food and construction material, produced in the surrounding countryside, passes through the big urban hubs on the edge of the city. Which means that useful and sustainable raw materials are no longer sourced from far away.
The river supplies sediment, materials like sand, clay and gravel, which can be used as construction material in the sediment centre. Wood and crops like flax and cattail are renewable, biobased and grow in the city and along the banks of the Meuse. Wood can be used as construction timber, flax and cattail as insulation material. During the growth of these raw materials, a symbiosis develops between people and nature. They offer a home to animals, help keep the city cool, provide a place for relaxation and naturally store CO2.
Mobility: from car to bike, walking and Public Transport
In today's Rotterdam, traffic and parking takes up a lot of space. This will make way for green and water. Cycling, walking and good public transport will ensure a totally different urban logistics. In National Park Rotterdam, we move around the city in small electric vehicles, by monorail and on the water in the water taxi. Cycling and walking is the norm. This is better for the air quality and for people. The car is no longer a status symbol. This has been replaced by the green and healthy area by the front door.
In line with our own journeys, supplies are delivered via big multifunctional hubs at strategic places on the Rotterdam ring road, from where residents collect goods or small modern vehicles transport them into the city. Logistics will become more efficient and less harmful to the environment because we bring and collect more from our own districts and neighbourhoods, like food from the public spaces. The public spaces have now become the new supermarket.
Water quality and security
In response to rising sea levels, peak rainfall and periods of drought, water control is taken seriously in Rotterdam National Park. The flood defence is a conscious human intervention. If the salt water in the sea rises too much, it accumulates in the rivers and replaces the fresh water. Also inland. The salt water will therefore need to be kept in the sea, whilst at the same time making more room for (fresh) river water.
(Peak) rainfall must not result in flooding. Locally and around the city, space is needed to store water, like a sponge. This space for water storage and control can also be combined with recreation, for example in the Southern Sponge Reserve. The collected water can be used as drinking water. With natural filters (helophyte filters), we can already purify much of this, as on Brienenoord island (10) and the Kuip as 'bathtub'. The water is also the start of enabling characteristic Meuse nature to emerge. We can make local drinking water facilities and store sufficient water so that we have enough during drier periods.
Witteveen+Bos created this vision under assignment to and in collaboration with Heijmans and Natural History Museum Rotterdam.