On Wednesday, 25 September, TKI CitySports introduced the world’s coolest artificial grass playing field on the Laan van Spartaan in Amsterdam. It’s a naturally-cooled artificial grass pitch, which remains cool when temperatures are very high and playable when it rains heavily. It is the first artificial grass pitch in the world to contribute to a liveable and climate-proof city.
City councillor Kukenheim kicked off the festive afternoon in the name of all the collaboration partners. KNVB football legends Pierre van Hooijdonk, Sander Westerveld, Gilanne Louwaars, Dyanne Bito, and trainer and lifestyle coach, Radmilo Soda, gave clinics for the young members of the VVA/Spartaan sports club.
The City of Amsterdam is part of this innovative project which has attracted great interest all over the world. For this reason, the city has bundled its efforts into the CitySports Project, a pilot project within the Top Sector Alliances for Knowledge and Innovation Water Technology programme, of the Water and Maritime Affairs Top Sectors. The other participating organisations are: KWR, Waternet, Veolia, Drain Products Europe, DutchBlue and Marineterrein Amsterdam.
The collaboration partners are studying how the cooling of artificial grass pitches can contribute to a liveable and climate-proof city. Over the next two years the scientific research will be conducted by water research institute KWR at two Amsterdam sites: the Marineterrein and the Laan van Spartaan sports park.
Artificial grass pitches
Over the last few years many natural grass pitches have been replaced by artificial grass ones. Amsterdam alone already manages about one hundred artificial grass pitches. The big advantage of these pitches is that they are cheap to maintain and can be played on continuously. But the downside is that the cooling effect of natural grass pitches is lost, and artificial grass pitches capture rainwater less efficiently.
Because artificial grass pitches can become extremely hot, when temperatures are high they are not fun to play on – at very high temperatures they can even be dangerous. Naturally-cooled artificial grass pitches can solve this problem, because the evaporation of the rainwater makes the temperatures drop.
The City of Amsterdam is preparing itself for the consequences of climate change. By carrying out physical adaptations in the city, the municipality is arming itself against extreme weather, such as the heavy rainfalls and heat experienced in 2018 and 2019. The naturally-cooled artificial grass pitches play an important role in improving the city’s stormwater management, reduce the urban heat-island effect, and have a positive impact on people, health and biodiversity. You can find more information about the event on the website: www.projectcitysports.com