International Rooftop Knowledge Day 2022

On June 3rd 2022, the annual International Rooftop Knowledge Day took place. An in-depth programme for participants that are professionally interested in rooftops and other enthusiasts. The full day programme consisted of 3 distinctive parts, the last of which could also be joined online from all around the world.

Next year’s knowledge programme will take place in early June. Follow our LinkedIn page to stay up to date!

Rooftop Walk and Lunch Workshops

Rotterdam Rooftop Walk © Frank Hanswijk

The day started with a visit to the Rotterdam Rooftop Walk. Rotterdamse Dakendagen initiated this installation that connects rooftops in the city centre with a spectacular air bridge across the Coolsingel. The experience features much more than unique sights alone. While walking across and between buildings, visitors can experience how innovative rooftop use can contribute to a brighter future for cities and city-dwellers worldwide.

At the end of the Rooftop Walk, participants gathered at the Rotterdam Building for a conversation about this temporary addition to the city.

Presentation at the Rotterdam Building © Frank Hanswijk

They continued their day with one of our Lunch Workshops that took place on various (rooftop) locations in the city centre. Topics for the Lunch Workshops were:

Lunch Workshops on various (rooftop) locations © Frank Hanswijk

Afternoon at The Podium

The afternoon contained plenary sessions at ‘The Podium’, a temporary lookout platform on top of Het Nieuwe Instituut, serving as the central location of the Rotterdam Architecture Month 2022. The installation is designed by MVRDV, who also designed the Rotterdam Rooftop Walk together with us. Together with AIR (Architecture Institute Rotterdam), we organised a programme of international keynote speeches and panel discussions that focused on four central ‘sensitive’ themes: Rooftop Feeling (a neologism of the Dutch Dakgevoel), Green Rooftops, Public Space and Regulations.

Léon van Geest (Rotterdamse Dakendagen) and Barbara Luns (AIR) kicked off the plenary programme at Het Podium © Frank Hanswijk

Léon van Geest (Rotterdamse Dakendagen) and Barbara Luns (AIR) welcomed everyone at The Podium, after which, the panel programme started with the field interviews. The interviews elaborated on visions, ambitions and challenges on (future) rooftop use from various perspectives. Guests included Jan Henk Tigelaar (Rooftop Revolution), Olga Wagenaar (Amvest), ​​Urias Santos Bakker (Havensteder), Heleen Vanden Bergh (Stad Antwerpen & programme leader DAKkan), Paul van Roosmalen (Rotterdam Municipality) and Bruno Inácio (Municipality of Faro). We also discussed some rooftop-projects that are currently being developed. 

After a short break, the programme continued with a panel conversation between our panel members. Urban anthropologist Katrina Johnson-Zimmerman (currently working for the City of Philadelphia) elaborated on her research on human behaviour in public space, Helen Toxopeus discussed her studies on business models for green cities, and futurologist Jacintha Scheerder advocated the importance of green cities for our future.

The visit of Katrina Johnson-Zimmerman was made possible by the International Visitors Programme of Het Nieuwe Instituut with support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

You can (re-)watch the full afternoon programme below:

Dakheld (Rooftop Hero) 2022

The programme was concluded with the festive recognition of the Dakheld (Rooftop Hero) 2022, a prize rewarding the best rooftop initiative of the past year. This year’s winner is Mirjam Slob of Rooftop Rumour! Congratulations!

With Rooftop Rumour, Mirjam aims to create an impressive network of rooftop gardens in Tilburg. And by doing so, further erasing the (imaginary) line between city and nature, an essential part of the city’s climate adaptation strategy.

Rooftop Rumour recently found a location and the financial support to develop its first rooftop garden of over 3.000m2. Located in the city center of Tilburg, supported by the municipality Gemeente Tilburg. We encourage her great effort and example: dreaming, but also doing!

The Dakheld (Rooftop Hero) of 2022: Mirjam Slob of Rooftop Rumour! © Frank Hanswijk

The extensive report, in which the main insights of each part of the programme are summarized, can be read via the button below (written by Jessica Cullen):