The urban area in the Rotterdam agglomeration has grown rapidly over recent decades. In order to improve water quality in the Barendrecht urban area, as well as the recreational and ecological value of the water systems, we worked with the municipality to redesign the Zuidpolder. Around 110 hectares of agricultural land between Barendrecht and the Oude Maas river have therefore been transformed to create a contemporary landscape park with (clean) water storage.
The Zuidpolder, part of the Blauwe Verbinding project, has three functions. Firstly, the storage of clean water for the urban water system, secondly, recreational boating, the cycling and walking route between the Zuiderpark and the Waaltje waterway and thirdly an ecological connection between green spaces in the urban area and (future) nature areas in IJsselmonde.
The design incorporates water storage, recreation and ecology. Together, these functions result in an attractive new landscape on the southern side of Barendrecht. Thanks to a sophisticated water system, clean water will be stored during periods of high water, so that water levels in canals in the urban area can be maintained during drier times. Recreational users now visit the landscape park in high numbers; it is used for canoeing, cycling, walking, roller skating and horse-riding. The De Kleine Duiker petting farm (which we also designed) and the Theehuys Polderzicht cafe (for which we designed the integration) are also popular. Finally, nature has also benefited from the development as a whole. Many farmland, water and woodland birds have found a habitat here, as well as rare plants such as the European yellow rattle and the southern marsh orchid.
Landscape Architecture: Arcadis
Project Location: The Netherlands, Rotterdam Region, Barendrecht
Design year: 2012
Year Built: 2012-2016 and 2021-2022