All projects
Grotestraat · Nijverdal, the Netherlands

Climate-adaptive revitalisation

A new benchmark for future-proof streets

Grotestraat - Nijverdal Grotestraat - Nijverdal

Once part of a bustling connecting road between Zwolle and Enschede, Grotestraat in Nijverdal witnessed a constant flow of fast traffic with no local destination, penetrating the heart of the town. The introduction of a new tunnel provided an opportunity to redirect the focus of the street towards residents and slow traffic. That ambition was taken as the starting point for a connection of the centre to the surrounding landscape, but our ambition went further.

Nijverdal, the Netherlands
2017 - 2019
Project area
19 ha
Municipality of Hellendoorn
Rots Maatwerk, Dusseldorp
Photography credits
Thomas Klomp

Revealing the landscape – a unified vision

Previous attempts to redesign Grotestraat were complicated by differing stakeholder viewpoints, which repeatedly stalled progress. Because of this, there was considerable pressure and urgency to produce a timely design that could restore unity. We were asked to create an appropriate design, which increased the momentum of the project without risk of compromising the quality during the process. The key to success lay in intensive cooperation between all parties involved combined with a clear direction based on the knowledge available. The outcome is a resilient natural landscape that transformed the centre into a hospitable place to come and stay, as well as an ambitious push for sustainability and increasing climate adaptability. As a result, it won the Water Resilient Cities Award 2019 for ‘The best sustainable drainage system for rainwater in an urban environment’.

Revitalising the city centre

The redevelopment of the 800-metre-long Grotestraat stands out because of a new green-blue structure with climate-adaptive swales and water-feeding plant areas around trees. It extends into the heart of Nijverdal’s city centre area, transforming it into an attractive and lively place. Here, a friendly and welcoming entrance to the town was created, fittingly welcoming residents and recreationists from the surrounding natural areas. By shaping a green carpet right into the heart of the town, we have made scenic qualities of the surrounding landscape in the form of the ridge and stream valley, now visible and tangible, right into the core of Nijverdal. The planting is inspired by the two surrounding characteristic natural areas, forming a new green bridge.

Creator of meaningful places

The revitalisation of the city centre area and the approach to climate change go hand in hand in this project. Linking attractive recreational space to the climate swale creates a dual use role for both the water system and the experience of the public space. Thanks to the high capacity of the swale and its green character, an exceptionally resilient intervention is created, making the centre of Nijverdal climate-adaptive.

Rainwater is stored under the pavement to provide the trees with sufficient water and to feed a water playground with fountains.

Climate adaptation

The redevelopment of Grotestraat proactively addresses climate change. Sustainable technical solutions for water management, collection and drainage have been carefully implemented, making the area climate-adaptive and able to cope with the effects of extreme precipitation, drought and summer heat waves. Rainwater is buffered for long periods and stored under the paving, providing trees with sufficient moisture and water for an engaging water playground with fountains.


Starting point for tackling the entire city centre area

The Grotestraat approach has now received wide recognition as a reference for greening, including as winner of the Dutch edition of the Green Cities award. In Nijverdal itself, the effective process and associated results have also made an impact. On this basis, we also won the tender for the greening and sustainability of the adjacent streets in the city centre area. This will be realised in the coming years.


Discover other projects