Daan Zandbelt to be atelier master of “Rotterdam – The Productive City” during IABR 2016

In the context of IABR 2016 – THE NEXT ECONOMY, Daan Zandbelt will be running the IABR Project Atelier, Rotterdam – The Productive City. The IABR is an architecture biennale that conducts ongoing research into the future of the city. One of its main tools is the Project Atelier: a long-term research by design trajectory in which the IABR in joint partnership with (mostly local) public authorities connects existing challenges to innovative, concrete and applicable solutions.

For IABR–2016 the IABR is collaborating with the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Municipality of Utrecht and with an alliance of the Province of Groningen, the Municipality of Groningen and the Groningen-Assen Region. In the coming 12 months, the three ateliers will deploy research by design to create spatial and economic development models, form new alliances, and design detailed proposals for pilot projects. The results will be anchor points in the main exhibition THE NEXT ECONOMY– and will subsequently be deployed in the work on the local challenges: implementation is always the objective.

The central research question of the IABR Project Atelier, Rotterdam – The Productive City is: How can Rotterdam launch a future-proof spatial-economic strategy, based on the regional development of a manufacturing industry that adds value locally, is circular and socially inclusive, and is rooted in the existing dynamics and (spatial) potential of the city and the region? More and more cities are reconsidering their role in the manufacturing industry under the influence of developments like reshoring and the emergence of new, smart technologies. One of these is Rotterdam, which increasingly presents itself as a manufacturing city. The city’s manufacturing industry has the potential to develop into a significant economic sector that will create new employment and around which a regional network of educational facilities, of minor and major supplier companies, and a dense transport network will develop. What opportunities does the manufacturing industry offer alternative forms of economic development that are socially inclusive and add value locally? Which new forms of governance are required now that the dynamics between government, civilians, and the market are changing more than ever?

Under the supervision of atelier master Daan Zandbelt, Project Atelier Rotterdam will investigate what exactly the ‘manufacturing industry’ is and charts the components most likely to achieve success in Rotterdam. Which prospects for the city and the region will follow from the further development of the manufacturing industry? The Project Atelier uses the specific spatial characteristics of Rotterdam – located at a strategic crossroads in the Rhine-Maas Delta with the Port of Rotterdam as a key driver of wealth and employment and the hub of many material flows – as a starting point to examine which spatial conditions will boost the transition to a future-proof manufacturing city. This raises an important question: How can Rotterdam proactively anticipate these developments and use them for the benefit of the socioeconomic development of its residents?

For more information about the IABR, visit http://iabr.nl.