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Cities are increasingly having to deal with flooding after heavy rainfall. Rotterdam was also looking for a solution to this problem and thought of creating several water squares. At the same time, the city asked us to make something beautiful of Benthemplein, which was full of tiles, with not much to do. Thus the Benthemplein project was born.
The development of this innovative water square involved a great deal of work. Connected took on the role of strategic advisor, as part of the planning and implementation process for this infrastructural project. This was done in collaboration with the municipality of Rotterdam and the Schieland and Krimpenerwaard water authority. At the same time, Connected acted as a strategic advisor and spokesperson for the directors within the water authority. Connected also took care of the communication and participation process for residents and stakeholders.
Participation was an important element in the creation of this water square. Various interest groups were involved in the planning process. Residents were able to have their say at various meetings. It was particularly important to create a multifunctional square where people could play sports and meet each other. All sorts of benches have been placed, as well as a water tank to catch the clustered showers. This resulted in a square that is truly of and for the city.
The Benthemplein has since become a household name in Rotterdam and beyond. CNN has also paid attention to this new way of dealing with water. This is a place for recreation in the city. During heavy rainfall, this water square collects the rainwater in a water tank, which is then infiltrated into the ground. This keeps the groundwater level up even during prolonged droughts.