Tag Archive: the netherlands

  1. Da-Ring
    Rotterdam | Netherlands

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    Ring roads are motorway systems build around a town or a city. Such infrastructures are often  barriers that separate the city into an internal and external part; they reduce physical connectivity between parts and they disconnect functions. The areas next to these infrastructures have a very specific programmatic typology.  With time they have attracted program that was not disadvantaged by the disturbed conditions that the highway creates (noise, pollution, disconnection…) such as industrial areas and warehouses.

    On the other hand, these areas have also been occupied by large scale open and recreational spaces such has parks, allotments gardens, golf courses, and Zoos. But, even more interesting, ring roads have created ‘no man’s land’, unused leftover spaces where it is not possible to build (yet) and that haven’t been dedicated to specific functions. No use, and no identity.

    But, if we look at the trends in mobility, we know traffic conditions will improve: smart mobility technologies and sharing systems might reduce the number of cars and the needed space for traffic. Furthermore, the diffusion of the electric cars will reduce noise and cut environmental pollution. Assuming such trends won’t be disregarded and the environmental conditions of these areas, next to and within highways, will dramatically improve in the coming 1 or 2 decades, what is the future of motorway landscapes in cities? What is the future of ring roads landscapes? What is the future of the A20 and the Northern part of Rotterdam?

    Rotterdam will build a new by-pass by 2023 that will reduce the traffic on the northern part of the ring road. We strongly suggest refraining from the temptation of closing the loop and forming a new ring. We disagree with the trend of expanding infrastructures more than needed, which often results in pushing the problem outwards to the next periphery. By reducing investments in new infrastructure, the city can upgrade the existing infrastructure and improve the conditions of the areas adjacent to the ring road.
     

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    On their own, the left over areas and large recreational spaces next to the ring road are valuable landscapes. By creating a system enabling accessibility based on active mobility, these landscapes can finally become usable by citizens. Overlapping these landscapes with the existing urban green network generates the ‘Rotterdam Necklace’, a system of public and accessible open spaces centered around the principle of reclaiming left-over spaces for urban communities.

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    The forthcoming by-pass will lead to a decrease of traffic on the A20, and, with time, smart mobility technologies will reduce the space needed by vehicles, decreasing the environmental disturbance of the motorway. The new condition will bring about possibilities for the reuse and reprogramming of infrastructures which will have become redundant. We propose repurposing the highway as an urban road, potentially reducing the amount of the ring road needed to be removed completely. This would allow for the road at city level to be transformed into a park.

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    Looking back, in the city recent history it is evident that top-down processes associated with large infrastructure were detached from small scale community-lead initiatives. With our proposal we address the need to connect the large scale with the small scale – government decisions with local community needs. Re-thinking infrastructural spaces can increase quality and generate opportunities for the inhabitants, while providing a larger urban and regional service. 

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  2. Site Visit | February 2016
    A20 Snelweg en Stad
    Rotterdam | The Netherlands

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    A new planned by-pass road will decrease the traffic intensity on the A20 part of Rotterdam’s ring, moving away from the city a large amount of through-traffic. If the smart mobility trends are also taken in consideration, new urban scenarios are possible in the Northern part of the city. Check out our proposal here: http://www.openfabric.eu/da-ring-rotterdam-nehterlands/.

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  3. Into the Wild
    The Hague | Netherlands

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    Play is about finding ones place in the world and making sense of that world. We have created a plan that seeks to juxtapose two different worlds. The man made and the natural. The plan has an urban exterior and a wild natural interior, each space contains a different type of play.

    The formal exterior is a place for sports and structured ordered games, while inside the wild interior children are encouraged and free to construct and destruct their own play spaces using natural materials. A boundary “ribbon” between the two worlds wraps and protects the interior, while adapting towards the exterior to allow games and integrate traditional playground elements. This “ribbon” is the threshold, a place where children learn to move between the natural world and the man made world. The relationship between the man made and natural worlds is the essence of sustainability, forming an understanding of this dialogue through participatory play and creative interaction is an essential childhood experience currently missing in many urban areas.

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    The Ribbon separates the artificial and paved exterior from the internal natural part. Its shape creates a variety of pockets spaces that can interact with the urban context; it’s 3-dimensional character give to the ribbon extra playful quality, in-fact it can be climbed, crossed with a tunnel or slide, it serves as a sitting element and as a skating grind, and much more.

     

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    In exterior area, lines create the matrix for a playful and active appropriation of the space. Some sport fields are defined, but the lines also create an abstract pattern that can be interpreted and can serve to set new rules and boundaries for new games.

     

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  4. Diverse Networks
    Rotterdam | the Netherlands

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    Public transportation is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public. Different systems overlaps to reach every corner of the city forming a network made of lines, nodes and points.
    Rotterdam is very well connected by public transportation system which is formed by bus, metro, railway, tram and covers in total 634 km in length.
    In a biodiversity point of view, the network is a key point for conserving habitats: wildlife (whatever are the species dominating a certain habitat) has to be free to reach ecological cores, the steppingstones, using connections. DIVERSE NETWORKS is based on a very simple question: Which is, in an urban environment, the most extended, existing network? Public transportation! Human networks, in centuries developed and diversified to reach even the more remote part of the city. DIVERSE NETWORKS propose to reuse, adapt and reinvent public transportation network to make them suitable for both humans and biodiversity. Intriguing new designs can be developed for flexible structures, like bus stops and metro stations which provide shelter for the passengers and forage conditions for birds. Street profiles can be smartly re-imagined to be useful for busses and trams and in the same time highways for insects. Railways will grow greener and will be repopulated with butterflies and dragonflies.

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    By reusing public transportation infrastructures, Diverse Networks aims to restore biodiversity. In facts, in our cities built areas, industrial sites and transport infrastructures fragmentise natural habitats. This disconnected landscape results in an extremely poor urban ecosystem made of unconnected ecological niches. Diverse Networks it’s not a new green superimposed green infrastructure, but rather a new hybrid system that can combine the need of a shared passengers networks together with a densely spread ecological system.

     

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    GIS mapping are showing the scientific base of Diverse Networks. The typologies of vegetation, the location and extension of the different species, the maintenance regime to which they are subject are all informations needed to understand the ecological potential of the city and consequently guiding the strategy.

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