In order to realise the quality of life objective, 750 hectares of new nature and recreation areas are being constructed around Rotterdam. The Province of Zuid-Holland is taking the lead in this project. There will be two new areas on the northern edge of Rotterdam. A third area will be realised to the south of the city on Midden-IJsselmonde. It will soon be possible to enjoy nature with good access close to the city.
Where will the new areas be?
Two new areas are planned to the north of Rotterdam: in the zone along the Schie river, and in the Schiebroek Polder and the Zuidpolder between Zestienhoven and Rodenrijs. These two areas do not stand alone. They form two links in a 'green ribbon' between the large nature and recreation areas of Midden-Delfland and the Rottemeren lakes. Man and animal thus obtain more space to move 'into the green'. It will soon be possible to cycle in green surroundings from the Rotte to Midden-Delfland. Obstacles like the Southern High-Speed Line and the Hofplein railway can be passed without hindrance. Animals can pass under these lines through what are called 'eco-ducts'.
The largest area, 600 hectares in extent, known as Buijtenland (meaning the land outside), will be to the south of Rotterdam on Midden-IJsselmonde, between Rhoon and Barendrecht. The need for a 'green lung' in this region will only increase in the coming years: thousands of homes are to be built around this area. A 'Green connection' for cyclists and walkers across the A15 motorway and the Betuweroute freight rail line keeps the area well accessible from Rotterdam.
The focus will be on recreation in one part of Midden-IJsselmonde. There will soon be space there for many types of activity, in the open air, in green surroundings. In another part of the area, the peace of nature will dominate.
What will the areas look like?
This has not yet been determined. The government is going to discuss the exact layout of the areas with various organisations including the ANWB (Dutch AA), the South Holland Landscape Foundation (Stichting Het Zuid-Hollands Landschap) and the Western Agriculture and Horticulture Organisation (WLTO), as well as with residents and residents' organisations. The principle in any event is the maintenance of existing historico-cultural and landscape values.
When will it be ready?
The activities for the new 750-ha nature and recreation areas will be completed within around 15 years. This does not mean, however, that people cannot enjoy the green space only then. There are already opportunities for walking and cycling. In the coming years, the areas will be laid out further. All the new nature and recreation areas will be accessible free of charge.