#5 Blue Space

After neglecting and hiding the waterways in our cities for decades, we’re slowly rediscovering their benefits and potential. In this episode we feature three stories of people working with water in an effort to make their hometowns better.

Geert Dekleermaeker

SmartShip CEO Gent, 🇧🇪 Belgium

After a career in construction, Geert thought it was time for something else entirely. So now he builds SmartShips and carries people and cargo all through the city. Discover the full story of this unique and green mode of transport, and Geert’s ambitious vision for our waterways.

Paul Steinbrück

Coordinator Pool is Cool Brussels, 🇧🇪 Belgium

Paul is the coordinator for the non-profit Pool is Cool, a wonderful group of volunteers who are trying to fill a big void in Brussels, the capital of the European Union: there is currently no public place for outdoor swimming in the entire city! We visited them last winter, when they were busy preparing some of their wonderful events and projects.

Morten Kabell

Former Mayor Copenhagen, 🇩🇰 Denmark

On the other side of the spectrum we find Copenhagen, which does have a thriving outdoor swimming community, with beaches, harbour baths, and very clean waters. I spoke to Morten, the former mayor of environment, about some deliberate choices made years ago, that made all this possible.

Anne Witteveen

Urban Designer Rotterdam, 🇳🇱 the Netherlands

Finally we arrive in Rotterdam, where there is a large and intriguing square in the middle of the city. Nicknamed the water square, it’s an intricate system to deal with a certain aspect of climate change. But Anne Witteveen and her colleagues are also working on lots of smaller, yet equally interesting projects that contribute to climate resilience.

Additional notes & links

  • As mentioned in the episode, a good way to raise awareness for outdoor swimming and water quality is the Big Jump – a yearly event organised all throughout Europe. See you on July 14?
  • This time lapse gives a good impression of the Super Dry Pool organised by Pool is Cool:


🎵 All music by Lennart Schoors, except:
Lee Rosevere – Southside
Lee Rosevere – Puzzle Piece
Lee Rosevere – Night Caves