Plants illuminate the park: 'The Park of Tomorrow' is open
Imagine: you walk through a park in the evening, with fairy-tale lighting around you that responds to your presence. This park has been a reality in Rotterdam since 18 November. The municipality of Rotterdam developed an interactive green area in the Reyeroord district together with Plant-e company and designer Ermi van Oers (Nova Innova), where electricity-producing plants respond to the presence of passers-by. Small lights will twinkle on the plant stream as people pass.
Interactive lighting on plant stream in Reyeroord
Rotterdam is the first city in the world to realize a park with interactive lighting based on plant flow. In the Reyeroord district, residents looked at the layout of the green belt, from the type of planting to the benches. It is one of innovative projects in the IJsselmond district.
Alderman for enforcement, outdoor space, integration and living together, Bert Wijbenga: “In Reyeroord, we have opted for an approach that focuses on the wishes and dreams of residents. Here major developments from the city are translated to the street. From energy transition, climate adaptation, poverty alleviation to the implementation of the Environment Act. That is how we see Reyeroord as an exemplary neighborhood of the future. "
The Park of Tomorrow: where science and design meet
Living plants that produce electricity: it sounds futuristic, but it is already happening! Photosynthesis takes place in all plants. Plants produce sugar that they use for their own growth. However, part of these sugars is not used by the plant itself and is therefore excreted in the soil via the roots. Bacteria surround the roots that break down those sugars. During this process the bacteria release electrons as a waste product. Plant-e has found a way to harvest the electrons and use them as electricity. Green energy acquires a new meaning: during the production of electrons, CO becomes2 captured in the plant, or CO2 negative electricity production! This technology can be applied anywhere in the world where plants are in moist soil. Marjolein Helder, CEO of Plant-e: “In the city of the future, climate change is becoming increasingly important and the area on which you can take action is very limited. With our products we can now link a number of climate functions - such as water storage, greening, lowering the ambient temperature - to lighting and social safety. ”Plant-e and designer Ermi van Oers saw the importance of a cross-pollination between nature, science and design and went a collaboration. Ermi van Oers and her team are developing a new way to apply the greenest electricity and make it visible, resulting in a magical ambiance. Your presence in the park is noticed by the plants and lights twinkling around you on electricity from those plants. Designer Ermi van Oers: “In addition to being enormously high-tech, this technology is also very poetic. Because energy suddenly comes alive and brings people and nature closer together. When you walk through this green belt in the dark, you feel the enlightenment alive and be amazed again by the power of nature. ”
Invest in innovative projects
With the Park van Morgen, the municipality of Rotterdam, Plant-e and Ermi van Oers want to stimulate the use of green in the built environment and bring people more in contact with their environment. Nature must become an experience for passers-by, from which inspiration can be taken. Alderman Bert Wijbenga: “Investing in innovation is important. We do not yet know whether plants can really be used as an energy supplier in the future, but we are definitely making a start with this project. " The lighting may not always work, the alderman emphasizes: “Nature cannot be rushed; if the bacterial growth does not cooperate or the weather is disappointing, the lights may not work. That monitoring is also part of this exploration. "
The Park of Tomorrow needs the time to grow and start up. In the spring of 2020, the Park of Tomorrow must be a beautiful, mature fairy tale path.
The green belt is located in a part of the Heemtuin in Reyeroord, between the Korendijk and the Pilgrim Church. 'The Park of Tomorrow' was festively opened on November 18 by alderman Bert Wijbenga and spoken words artist YMP.