The Rotterdam port has a modern image. Maasvlakte 2 will strengthen this image thanks to its advanced container terminals with automated cranes, ships that are nearly 400 m long and cutting-edge industry. Besides accommodating business activity, this unique part of the Netherlands will also offer new opportunities for recreation, flora and fauna. The outer rim of Maasvlakte 2 in particular offers ample opportunity for development in these areas.
The port is an attractive area for recreation. Not so much for mass recreation, but for more specialised leisure pursuits. The port is visited by people who want to see and experience the port activity. Spend the day spotting ships entering the port, watch the work at the terminals and experience the grandeur of the area. Before the construction of Maasvlakte 2, the Maasvlakte was also used for beach recreation and various outdoor sports such as parapenting, (kite)surfing and fishing.
Maasvlakte 2 will feature a longer coastline than the one that disappeared during the area's construction. Most of this coastline will consist of beach with dunes. The southern-most section will be developed into a bathing beach and will offer (mandatory) compensation for the disappearance of Slufter Beach. This new beach will have parking space for 1,500 cars, as well as beach entrances, seasonal catering and toilets. The dunes behind the 2,500-m long leisure beach will form a real dune landscape.
Activity beach and spotter lookouts
To the north of the bathing beach, one will find a beach that is suitable for activities like parapenting and (kite)surfing. A limited number of parking spaces will be constructed here. Due to safety regulations, the future location of chemical companies directly behind the beach will create restrictions for recreation. This rules out intensive use of the area like at the bathing beach. At the western-most point of the coastline, one can find a lookout from where bird spotters can watch the migration of birds along the coast. The spotter's lookout in the north-western corner of the existing Maasvlakte will remain the preeminent location for viewing ships entering the port.
Many people enjoy watching the large-scale activities at the port, with its ocean-going vessels, cranes and tugboats. Maasvlakte 2's location on the coast also makes it an attractive area for 'port and sea tourists'. There has been little to no staging of the port view, which is the result of purely functional considerations. The Master Plan intends to strengthen the visual quality of Maasvlakte 2 and its integration in the surrounding landscape. Special attention is paid to the transition between the functional port and the natural port along the seawall. A point of departure is to keep the activities in the port area in full view. At a number of locations on Maasvlakte 2, visitors will be given a view of the port basins, so that they can watch the activities of the ships and cranes. The area's flyovers will be constructed as dune viaducts. They will integrate very well with the surrounding landscape and form links between the functional port and the natural port.
In the near future, the companies at Maasvlakte 2 will also contribute to the visual quality of the area. Guidelines have been drawn up for the colour scheme and the architectural quality of the built-up environment. Standard fencing for all the terminals is intended to lend the area a calm, uniform image, and vegetation may not obscure the visitors' view of the activities.
The port area is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The soft seawall of the existing Maasvlakte has always been a dynamic landscape of sea, beach and dunes, covered in marram grass, thickets of common sea-buckthorn and other plant species. With typical gregarious birds like Gulls, Terns and Pied Avocets, but also other species like the Natterjack Toad and unique insects. These flora and fauna go together very well with the port activities. It will be no different at Maasvlakte 2. In the new port area, nature will be given room to grow without obstructing the business activity.
A number of protected species that spontaneously appear on vacant sites could obstruct the port's development, however. In close consultation with the Ministries, it has therefore been decided to control the natural development. This means that pioneering species will be given an opportunity to grow, but will have to make way in the event of the port's further development. In many cases, these species will be relocated to areas specially developed for this purpose.