The city of Rotterdam is getting its own highline called Hofbogenpark.

Comparable to the Chelsea High Line on the west side of New York City, the expected result hopes to provide a picturesque trail and habitat for local species.

The final design plans for the 2km rooftop park were approved late in 2023 by the city’s mayor and aldermen.

Once completed, the highline will connect the Sint Fransiscus hospital located in the north side of the city, all the way to Luchtpark/Hofplein in the city center.

Hofbogenpark: Expected Design Plans

The 2km walk and rooftop park is replacing an old railway road dating back to the year 1909, that linked Rotterdam to the Hague.

Hofbogenpark will be the longest rooftop park in all the Netherlands.

Designed with input from residents and businesses, the park will connect city dwellers with nature. The highline will serve as a space for enjoying time with friends and family.

Also, the design incorporates diverse plant species and pathways to allow small animal species access to the park. Designers hope the park becomes the habitat for various animals like bees, butterflies, toads, bats, birds, and hedgehogs.

The current design plans feature benches, tables, water areas, and has a playground for children.

Leading with Sustainability

The construction and design of Hofbogenpark is putting the integration of green spaces and sustainability at the forefront.

Moreover, with the new green spaces, Rotterdam will get a new eco-friendly cityscape that promotes physical well-being, air quality, and reduces noise pollution.

Additionally, the expansion is another way Rotterdam is solidifying its commitment to sustainability, biodiversity, and community well-being.

According to Hanadi Al-Baz of the International Affairs and European Subsidies team at Gemeente Rotterdam, the highline will serve as a place where nature and people will come together. The design team hopes Hofbogenpark serves as a reminder of the connection between people and nature.

Finally, the new rooftop park is being built with an innovative water system to facilitate rainwater use. The system will collect and purify rainwater while helping the city manage extreme rainfalls and droughts.

Also, this system will eliminate the use of tap water for irrigation and recreational water areas.

The Chelsea Highline in NYC

The plans for Hofbogenpark already share a lot of similarities with the Chelsea High Line in New York City.

For those yet to visit or see images of the Chelsea High Line, it is a walkway and green area built on old train tracks that go through the heart of the city.

The park is above ground and remains a green and eco-friendly spot. City dwellers can enjoy a long nature walk amongst the skyscrapers around them.

As expected from Hofbogenpark, the Chelsea High Line provides stunning views of the city while creating an elevated getaway from the bustle of the streets below.

Rotterdam Skyscraper Capital

Rotterdam is known for its beautiful skyline and ever-changing architecture.

The aftermath of the second world war left the city with only a handful of historic buildings as compared to cities like Amsterdam or Utrecht. Thus, Rotterdam had to be rebuilt.

As a result (take Hofbogenpark) Rotterdam is able to focus on innovative and modern architectural designs along with urban redevelopment.

As of today, there is a total of 47 skyscrapers projects in 38 locations all over the city currently under construction.

However, locals are questioning the affordability of these buildings. Fears regarding the rise in rental prices and cost of living are constant discussions within these areas.

Construction of Hofbogenpark begins in 2025.

Hofbogenpark: Final Thoughts

Once complete, the park and green space will be a wonderful way for locals and visitors to see the city while finding some peace in a growing city.

As the expat, highly skilled migrant, and international student community continues to grow in Rotterdam, projects like these provide a peaceful green space to gather, connect, and grab a coffee or take a stroll.

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