M4H Clean Tech Delta

Merwehaven / Vierhavens is the place where one of the major transformations of Rotterdam will take place in the next decades to come. The site is part of the larger Stadshavens area. In the Merwehavens / Vierhavens a shift from harbor activities to new urban activities is planned. It’s the area where the Dutch Clean Tech Delta will find its focal point of development. We foresee a development time of 40 years that separates the present day from the desired future image of the site. What lies in between is an abundance of time, space and a potential loss of interest. Alternatives for a traditional area development are needed.

Therefore we started a thoroughgoing study on all potentially interesting sustainable systems that the site can provide: from water purification to a complete warmth cascade, from reusing local resources to renewable energy production on site. Nine systems have been mapped, quantified, visualized and extensively discussed with involved parties like several energy companies.
From these systems we further researched the possibilities of a future energy grid that gradually transforms from its current state to a greener version in 2020 towards a sustainable switch in 2035. This timeline is also used for the development of three future scenario’s for the site.

The first scenario moves bottom-up from the current situation and tries to stimulate developments by declaring free-state status to the site. In a process of organic growth, small initiatives can flourish like the reuse of real-estate, local production of energy with PV panels and temporal wind turbines. In the next phase a stepwise development can happen allowing larger clusters to make a sustainable leap. This can gradually change the entire site. One key factor here is a slight repositioning of the river dike in combination with a hierarchy in infrastructure. Energy cascades can be developed cluster wise. A possible giant leap can be made when the river dike in combination with a new main road is being substantially moved towards the river. This creates a new inner water that can be used for purification, recreation purposes and quality environment for new developments.

All these scenarios can do without a fixed programme. They are based on organizing systems for sustainable supply of clean water, warmth, electricity, food and movement.