Veldacademie is holding a competition for two new squares in the Tarwewijk district of Rotterdam. Residents and local organisations from the Tarwewijk district can take part in the competition and come up with their own design for the redesign of two squares in their district. They can also have a say in the winning design, which will be realised on location in cooperation with designers from the municipality.
In the coming years, the municipality will work together with researchers, local organisations, initiatives, entrepreneurs and residents to improve the living environment in the Tarwewijk. Places to stay, such as squares, sports fields and playing grounds, will be made more attractive in the process. At the same time, these places will be better connected by a slow-moving traffic route. Adding greenery to the neighbourhood is also an important part of this.
Abundance of stones but little social cohesion
Tarwewijk is an old and stony city district in Charlois with a young and culturally diverse population. A fifth of the inhabitants are younger than 15 and over three quarters have a migrant background. The physical setting of the district is characterised by (traffic) congestion on the edges and quiet residential areas in the heart of the district. Many residents of the Tarwewijk live there for only a short time: almost one in three lives there for a year or less and then moves again. This high turnover of residents makes it difficult for meaningful social contacts and community building to take place. The aim of greening the neighbourhood is therefore both to stimulate social cohesion and to make the living environment healthier and more resistant to climate change.
Places to stay for and from the neighbourhood
The aim is for the recreational areas to tie in as much as possible with the daily activities and needs of the neighbourhood. Therefore, residents, local entrepreneurs and initiatives are actively involved in the process of redesign. In this way, they form an important part of neighbourhood improvement. This happens in different ways.
The two squares on Zwartewaalstraat
A competition is being held for the redesign of the two squares near the monumental school building on Zwartewaalstraat. People from the neighbourhood can make their own plans and also help decide which plan will be chosen as the winner. The winning team will further develop the plan together with designers from the municipality, after which it will be realised on location.
To understand the activities happening in the neighbourhood and what is needed, we talked to all sorts of people. We organised street campaigns during the summer, interviewed various professionals (teachers, welfare workers, civil servants, etc.) and held workshops with primary school pupils. This information uncovered about the neighbourhood has been incorporated into the programme of requirements for the competition.
We communicated about the campaign in the neighbourhood, including the design competition, through an online platform. The site includes a knowledge base with information about the policies of the municipality and the NPRZ (National Programme for Rotterdam South), student projects and the results of our field research. In the coming period, various local organisations will use the platform to add their own content. View the website here.
Educational Studio Tarwewijk
Veldacademie has also linked the project to an educational design studio. Within Studio Tarwewijk, students of various educational backgrounds investigate issues related to the redevelopment of the Tarwewijk. Architecture and Urban Design students from Delft University of Technology are looking at sports facilities in the neighbourhood, the design of public space and inclusiveness. They also make concrete designs for the neighbourhood. Students of the minor programme, Public Health of the EUR focus on exercise behaviour of young people in public space. Students of the minor programme, Communication Design for Interaction of TU Delft, investigate issues of safety perception and territorial behaviour in the neighbourhood. The students can also participate in the design competition.