StrategiesLandscape designPublic spaceSpecials


This vision on the "Parkstad" (Park City) area in Rotterdam South is the result of a market consultation commissioned by BPD / municipality of Rotterdam. In the southern part of Kop van Zuid (Head of the South), you will find the Parkstad area, between the Afrikaanderwijk and Feijenoord districts. It consisted of working class neighborhoods and later immigrant neighborhoods, formerly separated by the broad railway yard and now intersected by the urban allure of the avenue Laan op Zuid. Parkstad is the capstone of Kop van Zuid. Where previous developments have led to demonstrable gentrification as a social "wedge", this plan will actually connect the neighborhoods of Afrikaanderwijk, Feijenoord and Hillesluis. Socio-economic connections are forged between the new prosperous Kop van Zuid and the "I struggle and emerge" mentality of Rotterdam Zuid. A humane housing career within the neighborhood is made possible again, social networks remain intact, interaction, co-creation and social inclusion are encouraged.

In this view on the development of Parkstad all qualities and opportunities are connected: physical, spatial, social and economic.  There is a diversity of interventions and a wide range of housing types, in connection with and complementing the existing environment. Within this vision, the emergence of new positive intrinsic qualities of Parkstad shall strengthen the surrounding neighborhoods – instead of displacing them.

In this new reality of Parkstad the division between inside and outside of the dykes remains present within the plan area. The dyke is however transformed from a spatial barrier on the edge of the plan area to a central connecting landscape between Parkstad and Afrikaanderwijk. This "new" Hilledijk functions as a central green axis, which guides the walking or cycling user past all important green functions and cross connections. This spatial intervention turns the water-retaining Hilledijk into a connecting and multifunctional inner-city dyke park. The dyke as the green and ecological backbone of various green-filled qualities and programs; spatially and visually aligned between the Huis op Zuid (House on South) and the Essalam Mosque.

This network of large and small connections within the neighborhood and beyond is complemented by a number of "specials" at specific corners of the building blocks, where public, commercial or other functions can be accommodated in the plinth, which further complements the supply network of both neighborhoods. The gradual diversity of outdoor spaces runs from private (gardens) to collective (within a block), to semi-public (the court within a block) to public (the squares, car-free and low-traffic residential streets, lanes and public parks).

From the perspective of a child-friendly and safe environment, the possibilities for children and parents are extremely rich and diverse, and is growing along with the child's range.

Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Client: BPD, municipality of Rotterdam
Date: 2015
Category: Strategy, landscape design, public space