200,000 people live in Rotterdam South. There are beautiful canals, picturesque avenues and some schools are more charming than those in the North. How is then possible that the South has such a negative image? Why is there so much poverty, high unemployment, less public transport, and low levels of higher education? How is it possible that the city and port have grown so far apart? And why do the dykes form a barrier?
In a three-year search, Francine Houben, Creative Director of Mecanoo, studied the history of the South, spoke with the Port Authority, inland navigation boaters, residents, market vendors, educational institutions, mobility experts, artists, officials, and administrators. She concluded that the South needs an integrated urban vision for future development. What if the existing dyke infrastructure is transformed into a spectacular ten-kilometre-long dyke park, a reconciliation between port and city? A green ribbon where Southerners, both residents and port workers alike, can walk, stroll, and do sports?
An education campus in the Maashaven will focus on the theme of care, technology and logistics. This will act as a place for collaboration between the Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, primary and secondary education, start-ups and culture, and will also provide new student accommodation. Waalhaven South Campus, just like the piers in the Waalhaven, will transform into places where working, living and recreation merge.
Improving mobility is essential: good cycling and walking connections, a new Waalhaven South metro station, a 6.5-kilometre-long route dubbed the “Heart of Rotterdam” that connects cycling south and north of the river through the Maas tunnel and Erasmus bridge. Last but not least, a new super-bus will run from Central Station to Waalhaven South and Feyenoord City. “Rotterdam South, the beautiful city behind the dykes” vision offers a new perspective for this part of the city. Download and read the full document 'Manifest Rotterdam Zuid'.