Master Plan for Stadsblokken-Meinerswijk Arnhem: the river and nature as priority

On 7 November KondorWessels Projecten (KWP) presented the master plan for the Stadblokken Meinerswijk project to the inhabitants of Arnhem. One year ago, when a referendum was held, the residents voted with a large majority in favour of  the development of Stadsblokken Meinerswijk on the basis of the plans developed at the time by Buro Harro for this area, named De Eilanden 2.0. Since then Buro Harro and De Zwarte Hond have been working together on the design of the master plan for the flood plains park and the new residential areas, De Eilanden 3.0. The development of the landscape and the river are central to this. Inhabitants, municipality, province, water board and Rijkwaterstaat were all involved in its realisation. The master plan forms the basis for the development plan that will be presented to the city council during the course of 2018.

Stadsblokken Meinerswijk is a flood plain landscape of approximately 300 hectares, with several (former) industrial estates, in the centre of Arnhem. It is situated on the southern bank of the Rhine, opposite the city centre. In the coming years the area will be transformed into a flood plains park with three development areas, namely Meinerseiland, Haven van Workum and the ASM harbour. Each of these areas take advantage of the existing qualities of the sites, the location by the river, the (hidden) harbours, the rugged industrial character, the cultural-historical significance and the existing green framework. These specific features form the basis of the master plan.

One important component of the assignment for the Stadsblokken Meinerswijk Master Plan is the realisation of a further water level reduction. In Arnhem the post-war development of Malburgen considerably reduced the Rhine flood plain. At high tide the river rises quite drastically in the constricted watercourse, whereby the hinterland is in danger of flooding. The side channel on the Malburgsedijk was excavated in 2013, the Master Plan goes one step further with a package of water level reducing measures, such as a second side channel at Meinerswijk and the lowering of the events site so that, at high tide, the Lower Rhine has more capacity for draining away excess water.

The plan comprises three development areas. Meinerseiland, Haven van Workum and the ASM harbour. The design for each of these areas is based on the existing qualities already present today and are characterised by a number of well considered, casual additions.

More images and information about this project can be found here.