Water works

30 Nov 2009

The Watersquare creates a sustainable solution to the flooding of cities

With their design for the Watersquare, Dutch company De Urbanisten offer a new solution to the flooding of cities due to heavy rainfall. As part of the Rotterdam Waterplan 2, an urban policy by the City of Rotterdam to look at ways to store and control water, De Urbanisten propose to collect rainwater from the neighbourhood into a Watersquare; an attractive space to meet, play and engage in sports.

Most of the year the Watersquare will remain dry. It is only during heavy rainfall that the square will be filled with water. Streams, brooklets and ponds will emerge. Children will be able to play in and around the water and, in the winter, even skate on the ice. The rainwater collected by the Watersquare will serve as a grey-water system for the surrounding houses. After the rain the water will slowly recede into either nearby bodies of water or into the soil. The present sewage system will not be burdened, avoiding contaminated sewage water to overflow into moats and canals, which is the case at this time.

In the years to come over 25 Watersquares are planned for the city of Rotterdam. A pilot project of the Watersquare is currently being prepared by De Urbanisten, in collaboration with Studio Marco Vermeulen.

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