Main content

Building Visions - Rotterdam

The Dutch are up to their necks in water. Literally. Many cities are just above sea level, some even below. Like Rotterdam. If climate change causes the water to rise, the city is doomed in the truest sense of the word.

“We have to stop fighting the water. We have to learn to deal with it." A resourceful group of architects, landscape planners and interior designers are committed to this in small and large projects in the port city. "De Urbanisten" show how important it is to bring nature back into the city. So they are planning a tide park on an abandoned port site. Ebb and flow are allowed to flow unchecked there and change the appearance of the future park several times a day. They also experiment with different floor coverings, such as plants or shells, in order to design paved floors on river banks or squares in such a way that they can absorb water and make life in Rotterdam more attractive.

In the middle of the city, the urban planners built the multifunctional water square, which attracted international attention: a mixture of channels and colorful pools that serve as collection basins for the water in heavy rain and as a skate park for the kids in the area when the weather is nice.

For centuries, the Dutch kept the water out with ever-higher dykes. In “Building Visions”, the “Urbanists” show how nature can and must be allowed to take its course.

Filmed in Austria, India, Peru and the Netherlands, "Building Visions" presents architects who seek answers to the big questions facing our civilization today: climate change, rapidly growing cities, the involvement of local communities, education and migration. They are pioneers in decent housing and sustainable building, turning creativity and humanitarian ideas into plans and implementing them together with residents. We accompany architects who go where money is lacking, social grievances prevail and climate change threatens the environment.

Related Films

Building Visions - India

In southern India, the architect Anupama Kundoo deals with the question…

Building Visions - Peru

In the middle of the Peruvian jungle, an Italian architect is building…

Building Visions - Vienna Seestadt

Blocks of flats instead of magnificent imperial buildings. A new Vienna…