The tide brings nature into the city

This is the Keilehaven, a part of a canal in an old industrial area in Rotterdam. Once the cargo ships were coming in and out for loading and unloading, but the industries went to larger scale places. Now, the trucks do that last bit of transport, driving on the road from where the picture is taken.

There are pavements, but nobody uses them. Well, nobody – in the night you can find hookers who are chased away from the neighourhood. And once a month you can see some workers of County of Rotterdam to ‘clean it up’, by using chemical weed killers.

The ecosystem consists of tiles, grass and water. That’s it.

Now we give nature a change….

<!– @page { margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } –>
Orientation: check the yellow puppet; that’s from where the picture is taken. See the inset to check the positioning in Rotterdam and surroundings, till the sea.

In the picture above you see that these old harbours are all connected to the Nieuwe Maas, the big river going through Rotterdam, and is connected to the sea. Every day the tide comes in and goes out. This is a great environment to bring nature back here. The water is mostly brackish. Or better: this water will vary in its salination; it will be fresh at the dead ends of the harbours, to near sea water closer to the sea. This great variation can create a very diverse eco system.

So if you would do nothing, you give nature a chance.

…or even help nature a bit

The County of Rotterdam set out a tender to get ideas of landscaping this area. The Urbanists (Dutch: Urbanisten) are now developing nature. Or better, they are going to let the ecosystem do its work.

From there they help nature a bit, by making terraces on different heights, creating different depths of water. It brings even more variation in the ecosystem, so a larger diversity of flora and fauna.


By giving it some scale, there is room for paths to walk, and for leisuring. Hence, it will end up in a park, nice to live by. The area will be converted from a creepy shabby place to a park where you want to walk in, and live close to.


In the city of Rotterdam will be not a regular park, but a living one, a tidal park.

Such a specialty, would it be not more expensive than a regular park? No, it is cheaper to maintain.

It will be there, just because nature gets all chances.