Yes, it rains! The Watersquare




With their design for the watersquare, the Dutch office DE URBANISTEN offer a new solution to the flooding of our cities due to heavy rainfall. The watersquare combines a vivid public space with a place for water collection.

We experience a significant change in our climate. In the years to come heavy rainfall will increase. Our city sewage systems can’t cope with these sudden amounts of water. Parts of the city will flood time after time, causing severe damage to the public domain and to private properties.

In many Dutch cities the inconvenience is especially large because they are situated below sea-level. This situation asks for an innovative approach. No wonder the Dutch office ‘DE URBANISTEN’ came up with a new solution for this growing worldwide problem. According to DE URBANISTEN, to increase the capacity of the sewage system isn’t a wise thing to do. The city will not benefit from this expensive and invisible technical solution.

Instead DE URBANISTEN propose to collect the rainwater from a neighbourhood into a Watersquare; an attractive space to meet, to play and to engage in sports. The Watersquare is also the place to buffer the water from rainstorms. The Watersquare becomes a gathering place for people to enjoy.

Most of the year the Watersquare will be dry. It is only during heavy rainfall that the square will be filled with water. Streams, brooklets and ponds will emerge, kids can play in and around the water. In winter it is even possible to skate on the ice! The rainwater of the Watersquare can also serve as a grey-water system for the surrounding houses.

The city of Rotterdam is about to realise Europe’s first Watersquare. This pilot project has a capacity of one thousand cubic metres which is the equivalent of five thousand filled bathtubs. DE URBANISTEN design the Watersquare in collaboration with Studio Marco Vermeulen, the city of Rotterdam, the neighbourhood and especially with it’s children.

Know the WATERPLEINEN project in detail.