On July 4th the first Recycled Park opened in the Rotterdam harbor. Floating debris from the rivers and port is retrieved and recycled to create a floating park of 140m2.
The aim of this iconic Recycled Park is to illustrate that recycled plastic from the open waters is a valuable material and suitable for recycling. By re-using the retrieved plastics and by producing building blocks with them, the plastics receives new value. As an extra the building blocks create a new green area; Recycled Park. Floating green structures are a plus for the city and have an ecological function in the river as habitat for micro and macro fauna as snails, flatworms, larva, beetles and fish.
Floating green structures
To stimulate the retrieval of litter the Recycled Island Foundation looked into the potential of re-use and recycling. In collaboration with the Rotterdam municipality we found the potential in floating green structures. In this way we can stimulate the ecology in the Rotterdam harbor. With the recycled plastics we construct hexagon shaped building blocks where on, at and in new vegetation grows. Birds, fish and micro-organism find food, breeding ground and shelter in the floating park. Through the park runs a small canal about half a meter deep; small fish and birds find here shelter and the space to grow before entering the deeper waters.
The blocks can have a different section. Considering floating green, we can realize blocks that are as well above as under the water level. Further variation in height will result in a curved landscape. Larger trees can be placed in tree containers especially designed for this purpose.
In the variation of building blocks different new landscapes will arise. A new city park can be constructed that will have its own unique character as floating landscape in the river.
The floating park can take a valuable role in the city expansion on the water where we facilitate in a public green area for the neighborhood as well the city. The city park can facilitate all regular green facilities as sport- and playfields, together with more water-related programs.
Obviously, the floating characteristic will allow (part of) the park to relocate to suit festivals or new urban development.
A possibility that arose through our contact with the Rotterdam municipality is the softening of the river shores. In Rotterdam there is the desire to soften the majority of hard shores. The demolition of the existing shores and replacing them by natural slopes is an expensive adjustment. The floating green structures can provide an efficient alternative. With a variation in height and depth floating platforms can be situated to provide new green areas in and on the water. In and along the green shores fish, birds and other organism can nest and breed. Additionally a combination with accessible city parks is possible, with the green shores as attractive public space.