Celebrating 25 years: Mangrove City Park

Excited to share our project Mangrove City Park in Willemstad for our 25th anniversary celebration. This park was completed in 2021. Biodiversity and a nature inclusive design were key in this urban design. But to turn it into a public park a lot had to be changed…

About the area

Until the 1950s this area was an open water. Presumably, a good breeding ground for the growth of Mangroves was created by all the silt that flowed into the area. The following mangrove species can be found in the area: Languncularia (white mangrove), Avicennia (black mangrove) and Rhizophora (red mangrove).

We researched the history of this area and looked into the problems of the park. Due to the uncontrolled influx of nutrients (read: discharge of wastewater) into the area the mangroves in this area have unprecedented dimensions. Despite this negative connotation, it is a very special area with a diversity of species. That is what we wanted to highlight with our design.

Stopping the pollution

The area had to be remediated and the supply of pollution had to be stopped to make it into a public park. Ending the discharge of sewage was one of our first objectives. This was not part of our project, but there was a temporary solution created to mitigate the pollution. The new sewage system will guarantee that sewage water will not be discharged in to the area.

In May 2022 the water of the Mangrove City Park had reached European swimming water quality!

Walking and canoe routes

We wanted to make this park accessible to different types of users. That is why we created walking areas and added canoeing areas. To create an attractive area, interesting routes must be created. You want to create the opportunity for people to always discover something new. There are benches at the intersection of hiking trails because this is where the chance of interaction with passers-by is greatest. Our design enables contact between visitors.

The walking routes have been raised at the intersections of the routes, to provide meeting places between canoeists and hikers. Here you will find simple bridges that slowly rise 60 cm, creating sufficient height for the passage of a canoe. Due to the limited slope, the paths are also wheelchair friendly.

Design choices

As it is a public space, we wanted to make this a co-design process. The design process was organized through a series of workshops with the stakeholders. Preferences and design choices emerged from this.

For the materialization we choose to keep it in line with nature. That is why we used wood, or a composite made from wood predominates. Furthermore, we choose for simplicity in our design. Nature is leading.

We didn’t want the new, human-built part to demand all the attention. For example, we added a lookout tower and chose not to place it in the densely vegetated area to ensure peace and quiet for nature.

The park was festively opened by Princess Beatrix. It has the potential to become an attraction for Willemstad. In the future we hope to develop the park even further by adding a visitors and educational center.


Door |2024-02-23T13:31:37+00:0023 februari 2024|25 years, News|0 Reacties
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