Stadmaker Congress: space for a dialogue about urban development

Monday 14 February saw the launch of the Stadsmaker Congress. This Rotterdam conference is a space for a dialogue about urban development, in a city that is developing at a rapid pace. This year’s edition consists of an online programme and various city tours. It’s all about slowing down and accelerating: where acceleration is required for urgent tasks such as housing production and the energy transition, we need to slow down in order to be able to continue working on this together.

During the Culture and Campus and Hillesluis tours, which De Zwarte Hond took part in yesterday, big ambitions were once again clear to see. With the Culture Campus at the Charloisse Hoofd, the city has taken the next step in the (cultural) development of Rotterdam Zuid (South Rotterdam). The goals are ambitious and the opportunities for the Zuid area are huge. Following on from Theater Zuidplein, this will become the next hotspot in a more inclusive city. The city is now faced with the enormous challenge of collecting everything already present in the neighbourhoods of Zuid and giving it a place at this location.

During the Hillesluis tour, the focus was on the surroundings of the Boulevard Zuid shopping street, which runs through the Bloemhof, Vreeswijk and Afrikaanderwijk districts. The once famous shopping street is now in need of improvement and attention. Alliance Hand in Hand is proposing the solution: it’s vitally important to stimulate good entrepreneurship and to make homes more attractive and diverse. You could say that improving the living environment can only be successful through cooperation – with residents, entrepreneurs, property owners, students and artists – ensuring the creation of a healthy and mixed neighbourhood. Because neighbourhoods that have a mixed social composition are essential for a city to function as an inclusive ‘emancipation machine’. And that’s crucial for a city in order for it to be and remain vibrant.

Afbeelding: Fred Ernst