30 May 2018 • H. Alewijnse, J. Tentij and S. Beresford
Students present their plans for a climate-proof square
Climate change means more than just hotter cities and more rain in shorter periods. How do you prepare cities for climate change? First year Civil Engineering and Spatial Development/Climate Management students tackled just this question in a joint project. Living with Water.
The climate is changing. The most obvious consequences are higher average temperatures, melting ice caps and rising sea levels. But we will face many more consequences. Cities are not yet prepared and streets and cellars get flooded and there is much damage. At the same time, we want to keep that water in the city to cool the city down and to protect wooden foundations from pile rot.
For the second consecutive year, the client was the Municipality of Rotterdam and the Schieland and Krimpenerwaard Water Authority. They asked our students to make the Noordplein square in Rotterdam climate proof. Assuming a certain amount of precipitation (the peak downpours), the students considered different options and demonstrated that the package of measures that they chose would meet the need. They also had to consider the current functions of the square and the different stakeholders, whom the students interviewed.
The project groups used models to present their plans on 10 April. The three best groups could present their plans to the clients at the Water Authority in Rotterdam. The clients praised our first year students’ creative and innovative solutions.
The Architecture and Construction Engineering, Civil Engineering and Spatial Development degree programmes will collaborate more closely under the name of: Built Environment (BE). Living with Water is a good example of this. About 90 students from the Spatial Development/Climate Management and Civil Engineering degree programmes took the challenge. The assignment was carried out in multi-disciplinary project groups whereby the participants fulfilled different roles. Built Environment reflects the trend in professional practice for more and more disciplines to work together.