More and more cities are reconsidering their role in the manufacturing economy under the influence of developments like reshoring, the emergence of new smart technologies, the ambition to develop a circular economy and an increasing social interest in (local) craftsmanship. For Rotterdam, this is a development that offers welcome opportunities.
In Rotterdam, a former industrial city, different actors are researching and exploring how the city can make better and more productive use of the opportunities available for socio-economic development, by focusing on the making economy. How can Rotterdam profit from the large flows of cargo that move through the port and city on a daily basis? Can large scale industry and small scale making-initiatives be connected in such a way that mutual (knowledge) exchange and innovation are fostered? Which role can education play?
IABR–Atelier Rotterdam has explored which (spatial) opportunities emerge when the Metropolitan region Rotterdam The Hague is looked at from the perspective of the next manufacturing economy. What are the most promising components and how can the making economy, by fostering new connections and crossovers, and by building on the specific spatial characteristics of city and region, add value locally? In recent years large investments have been made in the global economic agenda, with little regard for whether these activities really add any value locally, to the city and to its inhabitants.
Seven development perspectives for the Metropolitan Region
The Atelier proposes seven development perspectives that further develope manufacturing economy and contribute to a more resilient region. Rather than a coprehensive strategy, the Atelier has been working on a selection of strategic and protoypical interventions that strenghten the regional manufacturing economy and thus contribute to a more socially inclusive urban region. The perspectives have been elaborated on the scale of the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague and cover the spectrum from urban interventionsl to regional systems. An elaboration of the seven perspectives can be found here.
Project Atelier Rotterdam is a collaboration of the IABR and the Municipality of Rotterdam. The atelier master is Daan Zandbelt (De Zwarte Hond). The Dutch offices De Zwarte Hond en marco.broekman, and L'AUC from Paris, France have been commissioned to do the design research and to develop pilot projects.
The IABR initiates and produces the Project Ateliers as a lead partner for the Regional and Local Design Dialogue Program, within the framework of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment’s Action Agenda for Architecture and Spatial Design 2013–2016.