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Benthemplein The largest water square in the world

Submitted by Nitya Jacob 26th July 2022 13:39
Benthemplein Rotterdam

Benthemplein is the largest water square in the world


Students, residents and entrepreneurs from the neighborhood in North Rotterdam have thought about the new square together with architects from De Urbanisten. In this way the residents were optimally involved in the project. This collaboration has resulted in a beautiful water square, which was officially opened on December 4, 2013.

A water plaza temporarily stores water above ground or underground; not only rainwater that falls directly on the square, but also water from the pavement and roofs in the immediate vicinity. This is done via gutters, pipes and height differences on the square. The water is then stored in the basins. The three basins at Benthemplein can store approximately 1.7 million liters of water.

As a result, the stored water no longer has to go to the sewer, so that it overflows less quickly. For example, this water square helps to keep your feet dry, while rain showers are becoming more frequent and more intense.

For the neighbourhood, with the neighbourhood

Benthemplein was originally covered with gray paving stones. A number of students from schools in the neighborhood asked the municipality of Rotterdam whether it was possible to adapt the square. This fitted in seamlessly with the wish of the municipality and the Water Board of Schieland and Krimpenerwaard to construct a water square nearby.

Rotterdam involved local residents and future users intensively in the design and realization of a water square. In this way, a water square was created that meets the wishes and remains beautiful and continues to work well during use.

Special artwork

The church occupies a special place among the many high buildings. Next to the church is a special work of art by artist Anouk Vogel. It is a water fountain that can be used as a baptismal font by the church. In this way, too, water has a special role on the square.

Rotterdam innovation

Rotterdam is densely built-up. There are many buildings and much more pavement. At the same time, the rainfall in the country is becoming increasingly intense, increasing the risk of flooding in the city.

It is very difficult to make extra space for water, such as canals, especially in the inner city. This is how the idea of ​​the water square was born in 2005: a square that offers an attractive, fun environment for the neighborhood in dry weather, and which ensures that less water flows to the sewers and canals during heavy rain showers.

All the principles of the water square are applied on the Benthemplein. The sewage system has been adapted to optimize operation. The drainpipes from the buildings around the square no longer lead to the sewerage system, the water from the roofs now visibly flows across the square to the basins.

The Benthemplein water square was built by contractor Wallaard, on behalf of the municipality of Rotterdam. Financiers are the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Schieland and Krimpenerwaard Water Board, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and the European Fund for Regional Development of the European Commission. The Benthemplein was designed by De Urbanisten.

Rotterdam Reply

The climate is changing. Extreme weather is becoming more common, increasing the risk of nuisance and damage from heavy precipitation, heat, drought and flooding. To prepare Rotterdam for this, there is the Rotterdams Weerword.

The Rotterdams Weerword stands for: preparing our city together for a more extreme climate. This means that as the municipality of Rotterdam, we are not only making the city weatherproof, but for, with and by the people of Rotterdam. Together with you, we will ensure that in the future Rotterdam will continue to be a pleasant, healthy and safe home for all Rotterdammers.

This case study is drawn from the website of the Municipality of Rotterdam