Reinventing the city

The challenges: Unequal distribution of wealth and opportunities, a lot of old buildings and assets, a dependency on fossil fuels.

Wealth and economic opportunities are unequally divided in Rotterdam. About 15% of households are low income households, compared to roughly 8.2% for the rest of the Netherlands. Many citizens experience pollution, vandalism and a lack of green that undermines their quality of life. The city's economy is still largely dependent on traditional fossil-based industries that need to transition to new sustainable business models and meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.


The Rotterdam response: Reinventing the city and forging new alliances.

In collaboration with Jeremy Rifkin we have laid out a masterplan for developing a smarter energy system, a circular economy, a competitive entrepreneurial region and a transformed labour market: Roadmap Next Economy Rotterdam. Rotterdam attracts and fosters start-ups and scale-ups, and enabling new forms of co-creation in living labs and innovation hubs that focus on circular, social and local initiatives. By eliminating legal and regulatory constraints we accelerate their development. And by intensifying collaboration between all levels of government, NGOs and business we combat social and economic deprivation.

Rotterdam has its obvious strengths and assets: a relatively young workforce, robust numbers of well-educated professionals and creative entrepreneurs. By unlocking their potential and unleashing their can-do mentality we successfully tackle every challenge.

Resilient Rotterdam: from lagging to leading.

The Resilient BoTu 2028 program greatly improves their resilience through intensive collaboration between residents, the municipality and other partners.

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Enabling Pioneers: Outlander Materials.

Outlander Materials is taking the world by storm with its ingenious solution to produce bio based, circular alternatives plastics using waste streams from beer breweries.

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Scaling up: Rotterdam Makers District.

In the newly formed Rotterdam Makers District new ideas are tested, alliances are forged and products are launched that will have global impact.

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