If everyone bought into a bridge, would you?
In Rotterdam, the answer to that question is a resounding ja: a wooden pedestrian footbridge recently rose in a traffic-heavy neighborhood, thanks to crowdfunding. Each of the 350-meter bridge’s 17,000 planks has the name of a person who donated to the project, designed by Zones Urbaines Sensibles.
ZUS envisioned the bridge, named the Luchtsingel, as a way to bring foot traffic to a part of the city isolated by cars. “The area around Hofplein in the center of Rotterdam was once a bustling district but is now dominated by speeding traffic,” the official Luchtsingel site says. The temporary bridge “will reconnect the city center with the northern districts,” while the city scrounges up enough money to build a longer-term structure, which might not happen for three decades.
“According to the current plans, construction of this pedestrian bridge is planned in 30 years,” the site says. “The area cannot wait that long, however. Crowdfunding allows the bridge to be financed in an alternative way, namely directly by the public… the necessary improvement in the quality of the area is therefore no longer fully dependent on policy plans and real estate developments.”
In three months, the project raised almost 100,000 euros, according to Kristian Koreman of ZUS. Donations start at 25 euros, which gets the contributor’s name on a plank. People who chipped in 125 euros received a mention on a larger piece of the bridge, while 1,250-euro donors could plaster their names on a structural component.
The first phase of Luchtsingel launched in April 2012. ZUS hopes that the bridge will expand as people donate more. Pictures below, courtesy of ZUS: