The Journey up to now has been long and winding and is a great example of Breda’s political commitment to build the GreenQuays despite all challenges. The idea in itself - developing an innovative design for the quays, where nature is on top of the priorities - has posed many technological and other challenges. Such design has never been done before, and there have been uncertainties, if the solutions can work as intended. Furthermore, inner-city space above and below ground is scarce and needs to serve many different purposes and interests of the multitude of stakeholders at the same time. How can nature be maximized then?
In 2020, the COVID crisis kicked in and put many works on hold or delayed them. Planning the quays with many experts from different fields of expertise has been complicated and slowed down by only being able to communicate and discuss online. Citizen participation was no longer possible in person and had to be replaced by online meetings. This left out less tech-affine population groups and had rather the character of informing citizens than real co-creation. Nevertheless, the project proceeded even with delays. It was tendered and finally awarded to the constructor FL B.V.
What nobody had foreseen, when the contract was signed in February 2022, was that the just starting war in Ukraine would pose further massive impacts. The prices for materials like steel, which the quay construction is highly dependent on, increased at unprecedented rates. This raised the question if the GreenQuays are still financeable for the municipality. But there is a strong will in Breda. It have been the citizens themselves that had pushed once for a much greener design of the quays than the municipality had originally planned, which gave birth to the project. This created a public climate for developing more nature in the municipality of Breda, which has convinced and supported local politicians much to pursue the plans of Breda in becoming a City in a Park, which is part of its environment vision for 2040. GreenQuays is a pilot section and blueprint for the New river Mark project in the middle of the city centre contributing substantially to bringing this vision to life. Given the massive drive for greening the city, the municipality - as an almost natural consequence -decided to proceed with the projects despite all the challenges and bear the extra cost.