Parking spots turned into shop extensions or terraces in Rotterdam

Recycled wooden decks, installed and removed by government
Extended terraces on parking spots

There are many stories of how humanity is bouncing back from COVID-19. It’s about finding the balance between protecting each other, but also keeping our society and economy together. The city of Rotterdam provided circular decks for the entrepreneurs to change parking spaces into spaces for business activities.

Since June several parking spots over the city turned into restaurant extensions or terraces (until November 1st) This was one of the COVID-19 measures to support the businesses. It gave them the chance to remain open and to protect the safety of everyone at the same time.

This move was much more significant than the summer terraces used to be in the last few years, which was about the reallocation of 125 parking spots spread over 75 locations. Now a new decision will have a bigger impact on on-street parking. Winter terraces are allowed up to April 1st, 2021.

Within constraints, bars and restaurants are allowed to cover it. Walls can be up to 1,20m high and they are allowed to use heaters. Of course, the retailers need to keep it as environmentally friendly as possible. As a compensation for the loss of clients because of keeping 1,5 meters social distance, the extension of business space is authorised and a maximum number of guests (regarding the measures) is allowed inside.

With this action, cars are temporarily removed, and businesses could use the new car-free space without a permit.  The City of Rotterdam shows that even during a worldwide pandemic more fundamental redevelopment is possible. It’s another example that the mentality shift challenges decades of orthodoxy in urban planning and design.