Rotterdam’s Spangen district has almost no open water at all, and a relatively high proportion of paved surfaces. A tiered approach has been chosen for making the district better capable of handling the heavier rainfall foreseen for the future: buffering in surface water, the realisation of a water square and wherever possible unhardening unnecessarily non-porous surfaces.
Bellamypark is one of the lower parts of the district, which is evident from flooding and mud on the present square during heavy rainfall. In the new Bellamypark, a water square will be realised in which the water mission is incorporated into the design in a natural-seeming manner.
The mostly green square has a lowered and paved central area that has been designed as a buffer for rainwater. The paved surfaces surrounding this central area are connected to it. This combination of vegetation and water storage is a comprehensive solution that also helps to reduce heat stress, enhance biodiversity and naturally improve the aesthetic value.
The approach chosen for Bellamypark involved an interesting and realistic look at the possibilities for dealing with the water mission in a subtle yet effective way.
As much of the quantified water mission of 5300 m3 as possible – 1500 m3 – will be realised using the existing surface water. Another large part of the mission has been executed using water squares with a capacity of 750 m3 each. The remaining storage capacity requirement has been compensated by unhardening parts of the district, affording the capacity to process 1550 m3 of water.
This subtle approach can be adapted to virtually any urban situation. The outcome is a greener and more appealing district with more water storage. Nooijer, 2011