Rotterdam City Council


Children gain a foothold in the heart of Rotterdam.

Based on the number of inhabitants, Rotterdam is perhaps "only" the second largest city in the Netherlands, but as you approach the centre via the Van Brienenoord Bridge it is clear that this port city trumps our capital city in one respect. Along the shore, the only true skyline in our country towers imposingly over the water. It is not without reason that Rotterdam is also called "Manhattan on the Maas". The city can also compare itself to the American city of millions, as Rotterdam is a metropolis with everything that entails - including culture, sport and vibrant nightlife. This is also true in the case of the Nike footprint.

Nike Footprint is an initiative by the American sporting giant in conjunction with KOMPAN to create play areas in locations where they are most needed. The playground by the Scottish church at 't Landje in Rotterdam is such a place. District coordinator Jelle Tjelpa, is very happy with the gift:. "Play space is always a focus of attention and that applies more in some places than others. This playground is in an environment with three schools and a children's day care centre, at the heart of a diverse area. Plenty of children therefore, but also the necessary care. In the past, play equipment here had to endure a great deal, and we wanted to create a place that by definition would be resistant to intensive use and city problems such as vandalism. And all of this had to be within the boundaries of the attraction decree. With Nike and KOMPAN we have fulfilled that perfectly."

Collaboration and involvement
For a city council such as Rotterdam there are many factors to consider when commercial parties offer sponsorships. But according to Mr Tjelpa, in this case there was no problem at all. "We made very neat arrangements regarding promotion, placement of logos, maintenance and liability. In that sense everything was regulated openly and everyone in the neighbourhood was involved in the development." The residents themselves had the deciding finger in the pie, because the final design was chosen by people living in the neighbourhood, almost unanimously. 

A design for young and old
Motion is the central theme at the new play area. KOMPAN has equipped it with various items of play equipment from the GALAXY series, with the futuristic Electra as its central point. The ground base of the play area is constructed from special Nike gravel which - and this is a nice detail - is made from old sports shoe soles. And if you're wondering where the name Nike footprint comes from, take a close look at the shape of the playground. It is in the shape of a giant shoe sole. The children of 't Landje think it's great. The most important thing for them is the fun they can have at the playground. The same goes for their parents, as there are benches all around the square where people can meet to watch their children and have a chat.

Playtime fun is a joint responsibility
According to Mr Tjelpa, the play area was a great success at its official opening on 5 July 2006. "Everyone was there: Nike chief Andrew Ogilvy, the councillor L. Bolsius, Willem van Veenendaal of KOMPAN and everyone living in the neighbourhood. We had wrapped the play area in gift wrapping paper and at the signal of the officials, the children were able to unwrap their new play area. What a spectacle!"

For KOMPAN, the Nike footprint project was a way of demonstrating that playtime fun for every child is a responsibility we take very seriously, as do Nike. Our philosophy revolves around "playful living", and this type of project adds to that. Time after time it appears that we can achieve a great deal with play. It's a unique initiative for a unique play area.


Fast facts
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands