A different approach: breaking down barriers
As a result of the completion of the Rotterdamsebaan roadway and various mobility-related developments, the Bernard and Schenk viaducts now represent a minimal part of the major arteries for transport by car. If we were to transform these viaducts into a ‘natural bridge’ across the tracks, it would connect the adjacent portions of the city in a smart fashion, improving access for pedestrians and cyclists. This will result in a large plot of valuable public space. In time, the entire railway line behind the Central station might be covered. This would create an area of around 5 hectares, which might accommodate a portion of the city’s population growth. Some 2,200 homes would fit in this spot, as well as a strip of park – around 2.5 hectares. That is an area just slightly smaller than the Lange Voorhout, but stretching a bit longer. Large enough for green meadows, trees and water.
The first step
In order to demonstrate the potential value of such a plan, the viaducts could be closed to car traffic periodically or during certain events. If temporary park elements were to be placed on the viaducts during these intervals or on these days, one could enjoy a nice stroll across the tracks. It would be a high-quality, natural public space serving as a link between two city districts. The transition to a more efficient mobility mix would allow the viaducts to be re-purposed into parks.