The city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands presents a compelling example for the blending of traditional and modern architecture, design and technologies.

Because much of the city was destroyed in WWII, Rotterdam had to rebuild, and it has taken an impressively forward-thinking approach throughout the decades. This innovative spirit is exemplified in the city’s latest project: the construction of a 3D printed composite footbridge.

The structure will have the honour of being the world’s first lightweight 3D printed fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) footbridge, and it will be installed at Rotterdam’s Kralingse Bos park. The bridge is being built through a collaboration between Royal HaskoningDHV, science and materials company DSM and the City of Rotterdam.

Another important aspect of the 3D printed footbridge is that it will be constructed based on a circular, sustainable model. That is, the composite bridge, made from recyclable material, is part of the city’s sustainability targets to reduce its carbon footprint and promote liveability.