Once in the Netherlands, trains zoomed over the 1,9 kilometre long Hofbogen railway from Rotterdam to The Hague. Now, June 1 2018, a park will open on the first part of the old traintrack, around what once was train station Hofplein. Luchtpark Hofbogen (air park Hof-arches) is not only inspiring for being on top of a monument: it is truly inspiring for all the work behind it: the parties involved and the negotiations completed!
Spotify tip while reading this post:
Opening a park on top of a traintrack seems easy. Just beg local authorities for the right to use the spot and get on with it. The neighbor will put his green fingers to use and we’ll pour some homemade lemonade. Yeah, no.
The work behind creating a public park
Putting a monument up for public use requires negotiations between many different parties. And it gets into a play of negotiation, time plans, and organization. A public park brings together local authorities, the railroad company, real estate owners, architects, the neighborhood itself, garden maintenance organizations, and even the businesses situation underneath the traintrack. And all that comes together in a perfect blend with time, law, and circumstances.
All of that happened for Luchtpark Hofbogen and it took well over 10 years to get here. When the traintrack closed in 2006 – 2010, the rail company renovated the roof, the government and owners had to strike deals, and an architect laid down plans. The final step was for the garden organization to make it a happy place. And now, in 2018, you can I can finally sip lemonades in a brand new park. Apple trees, cherry trees, hay benches: it breaths a good old country feel in the center of Rotterdam.
It almost didn’t happen
Imagine how this project could have taken many wrong turns. The real estate owners almost sold the traintrack due to a changing law. The ideas for the track could have lacked timing; in 2008 the big crisis could have prompted the railway company to neglect the whole structure. None of this happened. The monument was renovated, owners didn’t back down, and now it’s up to us city dwellers and tourists to take the final step and enjoy the place.
Visit the rooftop park
This Friday June 1st, Luchtpark Hofbogen opens for the very first time during the Dakendagen (roof top days) in Rotterdam. Check www.rotterdamsedakendagen.nl for more information.
Photo: acquired from Hofbogen Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/De-Hofbogen-882714235083878/)