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Rapid urbanization in the city of Rotterdam has led to increasing rates of pollution, heat stress and flooding over the years. The central neighborhood around Schouwburg Square has been in need of a sustainable facelift for a while. To address this, the Theater Rotterdam Schouwburg and De Doelen concert hall decided to join efforts and draw up a plan to make the area climate resilient.
Together with Amvest Eneco, Dura Vermeer, the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Schieland and Krimpenerwaard Water Board, Theater Rotterdam and TNO, Arcadis set up a plan to make the area around the Schouwburg Square more sustainable, partnering across program management and communication efforts. The end goal is for the square to become neutral by 2030. The critical progress made here will serve as a testing ground for new innovative technologies, cyclical processes and business models that can potentially be carried forward in other parts of the city and country.
The scale of cooperation across all stakeholder groups and partners in this project has been unique. The ambition of 7 Square Endeavour is to link (existing) initiatives, knowledge, interests and expertise across all parties, and to work together to create new developments. Once the energy and water consumption analysis were completed, Arcadis worked with the area partners to develop a strategy with concrete targets for an energy-neutral and climate-adaptive square. This was achieved by mapping out buildings suitable for sustainable, multifunctional roofs with space for greenery, water storage, energy generation and accommodation.
In Rotterdam, many initiatives that address climate adaptation and energy transition through innovative solutions like these are being put to practice for the first time. This ground-breaking project is therefore very interesting for parties with similar ambitions.
The program ensures that the area around Schouwburg Square will eventually be completely climate neutral. Among other things, transport, the environment, water supplies, urban planning and existing buildings will all benefit from the integrated energy management, cyclical processes and green-blue design, improving the quality of life for the community through better access to resources and green spaces. Solutions such as smart grids; the generation, storage and exchange of energy; grey water, green roofs and other innovative technologies will benefit all people who live, work and play in the city. The program will also provide economic benefits, such as lower energy costs through energy savings.