Do More With Your Ceiling: A ‘Solution to Lack of Space’

It’s the first time you can recreate some kind of rooftop park in the Netherlands. “We’re doing this because we’re short on space in big cities like Rotterdam and we have to build more,” says Leon van Geest. He is the director of Rotterdamse Dakendagen, which begins next week.

Stimulating the use of the roof

The Netherlands has 1,281 square kilometers of surfaces. “This is a lot of space,” he told EditieNL. “And not just any space: a good quality space. We want to show that. Our goal is to stimulate the use of the ceiling.”

He says the options are endless. “A tapered roof is good for solar panels or green for example. There are smart roofs that track the weather forecast and know when they have to collect or release water in order to maintain a green roof. This is not only beautiful, but also good for biodiversity.”

He continues, “You can use flat roofs as a living space. Or for a garden on your roof. We also have a rooftop drone station.”

Lots of potential

Van Geest thinks Rotterdam has a lot of potential. “The lack of space is great. It is crowded and hectic in the city. While you can also park on a quiet rooftop. But also in other parts of the Netherlands it would be a good plan to make more use of rooftops.”

Can we really live on the roof? “It depends on whether it’s an existing building or a new one,” TNO construction expert Chris Geurts told EditieNL. “And whether this roof is resistant enough to balance and additional activities. Technically you can get it all done. But first you have to look at the designer on the roof before you start. Not every roof is suitable for every activity.”

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He thinks it is a good idea to have the Rotterdam rally organized on the roof. “We’re short on space, we all know that. So if you have a flat roof, why not use it?”

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