This vision on the "Parkstad" (Park City) area in Rotterdam South is the result of a market consultation commissioned by BPD / municipality of Rotterdam. The Parkstad area is situated between Afrikaanderwijk and Feijenoord districts. It used to consist of working class neighborhoods and later immigrant neighborhoods. Formerly separated by the broad railway yard, it is now intersected by the urban allure of the avenue Laan op Zuid. Parkstad is the capstone of Kop van Zuid. Previous developments led to demonstrable gentrification as a social wedge, but this plan connects 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. The result is an area where social networks remain intact, interaction, co-creation and social inclusion are encouraged.

Within this vision, the emergence of new positive intrinsic qualities of Parkstad strengthens the surrounding neighborhoods. All qualities and opportunities connect: 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.

The division between inside and outside of the dykes remains present within the plan area. The dyke however transforms 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. At these corners, public, commercial or other functions are accommodated in the plinth, which will further complement 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 grows along with the child's range.

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