Urban Greenhouse in Rotterdam
A flexible urban farm for the city of Rotterdam
A group of urban agriculturists hope to put Rotterdam on track as a healthy, green, and delicious city. Selected by the Stadsinitiatieven (City Initiatives), the group has proposed to build a giant greenhouse in the area next to the opening of a train tunnel, a space that has been difficult to maintain environmentally and financially.
The greenhouse would grow organic produce, herbs, and flowers for markets and the designers of the greenhouse are aiming to transform this building into a new icon for the city.
The proposal is to construct a giant greenhouse that is flexible and easy to take down. The plan hopes that the City will lease this piece of land next to the train tunnel for 15 to 30 years, and then move the greenhouse to a new location. Through thoughtful and cutting edge design, the team behind the proposal, Plein06 and Kraaijvanger, also aim to create a landmark building for Rotterdam.
The program is accepting proposals that will transform the city through creative design, landscaping, and urban planning. In 2013 a jury will vote on the best plans and create a short list of proposals. The winner receives up to a co-financed prize of three million euros, but it is not required to use the entire sum of prize money. In fact, whatever is left over goes to the remaining top five finalists, encouraging each submission to be self-aware financially and help promote the other winning ideas.
Some of the winning ideas last year included Stiltepunt, a six-week yoga course for elementary students and teachers, and the Luchtsingel, an open-air pedestrian bridge that allows people to walk above a highway to the central train station.
Urban agriculture is an effective and simple way to transform underutilized spaces, promote the local economy, and encourage people to reduce their reliance on sustainable systems, such as buying imported produce and driving long distances to buy food. Around the world, several cities have already transformed former industrial transportation sites and turned them into gardens. San Francisco dug up an entire highway, a design was drawn up for food to be grown along an Ohio highway corridor, and Vancouver found a way to re-landscape soil that was left over from building a highway.
The next round for voting in the City Initiative is September 24, 2012 .