Residents, students, entrepreneurs, visitors as well as professional athletes and young talents: they’re all more than welcome to enjoy state of the art facilities in Rotterdam’s Stadionpark (Stadium Park) development.
Exercising, learning, living and working are the main reasons to stay in this area, in addition to year round events, and not just the biweekly football match. Stadionpark comprises more than Feyenoord City alone, which will include a brand new football stadium scheduled to open for its first match in 2024. It also consists of existing residental areas De Veranda and Sportdorp and two large urban open spaces: Park de Twee Heuvels and the Van Brienenoord Island. Commercial business and shops are found alongside the Stadionweg and the Noorderhelling. The aim for this large scale urban (re)development is to upgrade and connect these very different areas to create a leasant, green and spacious environment, connected by a multifunctional pathway for pedestrians, runners, skaters and cyclists alike.
Football club Feyenoord is a keen subject among sports fans when referring to Rotterdam and the club’s home ground is the most beloved stadium in the Netherlands: ‘De Kuip’. The venue has seen multiple European league finals and concerts by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones. A brand new stadium however ill soon arise, with a capacity of 63.000 visitors, allowing to facilitate the team even better. The monumental De Kuip will be preserved and take on new functions. It will have an all-weather running track, an indoor sports facility space for entrepreneurs and even a craft beer brewery! Apartments will be incorporated in the upper ring of De Kuip. Training fields for academy players and different club sports have already had a makeover and will also be used by students.
Whenever Feyenoord play the southern part of the city comes to a stand still. The biggest club in town is in the heart of many ‘Rotterdammers’ and they would not miss a single match. However, these marches frequently create a serious congestion in and around the city with 60-70 % of the fans travelling to De Kuip by car, even when a lot of them live within walking or cycling distance. To tackle this problem De Kuip stadium and the municipality of Rotterdam have joined forces and embraced a plan to promote walking and cycling, public transportation including boat rides on the nearby Meuse river. Parking will be facilitated in the future, but your likely to leave your car further away from the stadium and hop on one of the many trams or busses arranged especially to travel those last few miles from the parking lot. Another plan is to disentangle traffic by elevating the entrance to the new stadium above motorised traffic and by designing better routes in all directions with less crossings, making it safer in the process. Another goal is peak shaving, meaning a reduction of people leaving the area at the same time (right after a match). These measures combined make sure the Stadionpark area stays attractive,
during match days and all other days, for fans, athletes, visitors and residents. Furthermore it adds to what will become a very pedestrian friendly part of Rotterdam.
Areas connected by a recreational path
A beautifully designed pathway will connect all the different neighbourhoods and green open spaces of Stadionpark. The 5 kilometre pathway will take walkers, joggers, skaters and cyclists from the riverside, through parks, across bridges, along sports fields and into a redeveloped De Kuip stadium. The pathway provides a pleasant surface and safe route. Special markings will be added to the asphalt to inform people about their surroundings. The route features benches and water tapping points too: places which will encourage people to meet others or just sit down and relax.
For many years the southern part of Rotterdam has seen socio-economic problems like unemployment, school drop out, poverty and crime. The Stadionpark development therefore needs to address more than just the rise of a new stadium and new homes. It needs to promote inclusiveness for all residents, new and old. Feyenoord already offers study packages for schools and has opened a community center in the nearby neighbourhood Afrikaanderwijk as part of this programme. The Stadionpark development will also offer employment and student placement opportunities to local residents.
It probably wasn’t all that hard to have come up with the slogan the municipality introduced last year. In the city of Rotterdam, ‘Stadionpark gets you moving’.