Opening BeeStreet in Leeuwarden

Opening BeeStreet in Leeuwarden
12 September 2018 Bertine Aalderen, van

The BeeStreet will open in Leeuwarden on Saturday 15 September at 4pm. It is a project aimed at the greening of inner cities, for people and bees. It provides a solution to heat stress and rainwater storage. But most of all it creates a cosy and pleasant street!

The BeeStreet is part of Smart Leeuwarden: a project in which smart collaboration is paramount for innovation and a pleasant living environment.

Place to bee
Together with the municipality of Leeuwarden, shopkeepers of Oude Oosterstraat and Nieuwe Oosterstraat and artists and entrepreneurs, House of Design project leader Eileen Blackmore has been working on greening the streets in recent months: “We chose Oude and Nieuwe Oosterstraat as a pilot area. These streets are situated just outside the centre – they form a connection between the centre and the cultural melting pot Blokhuispoort, and you will find a great variety of nice shops. It is actually a ‘b’ location, but now it is the place to Bee thanks to our project!”

Proud of the gardens
The municipality has created borders in the streets in the Oosterstraten and Kruisstraat within which various plants, herbs, fruit bushes and small trees are placed which are maintained by local entrepreneurs. Eileen: “The shopkeepers are proud of their gardens and protect the plants with old newspapers during extremely hot days.” Tips for “bee green” were offered by De Kruidhof and Nico Kelderhuis, the green manager of the municipality of Leeuwarden. Important here is the cooperation with city centre manager Hayo Galema and Huub Riezenbosch of the World of Tea.

In addition, a number of prototypes have been developed that will be tested in the streets in the coming year. For example, there is the Water Wall, an example of vertical rainwater storage that can be mounted on blind walls and requires little space. Ideal for the densely built-up city centre. There will be a gate of flowers, which will be an eye-catcher viewed from the Oosterkade.

It barely requires any maintenance because a smart irrigation system waters the plants. A sensor indicates that the plants are thirsty and the pump that transmits the rainwater receives energy via a solar panel. Rainwater storage is also linked to this. This system is a collaboration between Verhoeve Groen, Mijn Waterfabriek and the Stille Boot.

Drinking water fountain
There will be a drinking water fountain at the intersection of the Oosterstraten and the Tweebaksmarkt. The fountain was designed by Gretha Oost and painted by Susan and Bjarne, two employees of SMOEL. It is a place where you can refill your bottle, and from there you can continue shopping in the BeeStreet. To make the story visible and to mark the area, Roy Schreuder displayed the story of rain, flowers and bees on a few electrical cabinets. They have turned out to be striking and cheerful works of art.   

Heat stress
Last summer, the maps showed that this area is quite red in terms of heat stress. Hopefully this will change after about five years, when the plants will have fully grown. This project is a start to a green and livable Leeuwarden where we will create places where we can collect rainwater to relieve the sewers during heavy rain showers. Using this water, we can create a cosy green city that offers space for bees and coolness during the hot days.

Here you can read more about the Smart Leeuwarden project.