Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Mentors: Caroline Newton, Tanja Herdt
Keywords: Urban politics, (semi)public space, urban deprived areas, societal discourse, reclaiming space, neighbourhood settings, stigmatization of disadvantage
Rotterdam has always been a showcase for attractive images but ignorant about developing urban impurities, by post-war being built back as an intra- and international getaway. Due to fragmentation of the spatial planning system, politicization and polarization, and a lack of depth in important political discussions, urban impurities in municipal measures express in the absence of cross understanding regarding taking care of challenging focus areas, like Bospolder-Tussendijken (BoTu) in Rotterdam. It is time to reconsider the approach.
Socio-spatial character is paradoxical, while social unrest creates a lack of responsibility to sustain and maintain the (semi)public space, which causes a vicious cycle of unrest. Overstimulation with (sustainable or resilient) development plans sensitizes and therewith stigmatizes the neighbourhood. Residents are aware of this stigmatization and ﬁnd themselves often in a self-fulﬁlling prophecy, not taking care of their surroundings. Passengers and residers move through the neighbourhood with shifting motives related to four domains of social life, notably living (1), labour (2), learning (3), and leisure (4). Urban planning documents are dominantly textual and theoretical, while they involve creating physical places with a practical outcome. No-boundary-botu could be the solution. By embracing asset-based community development and co-creating with the unusual suspects, an Asset Atlas could strengthen local networks and ﬁt the needs of the diﬀerent domains, aiming for true cross understanding. Through scenarios, synergies within the initiatives’ network will be displayed to reclaim the (semi)public space, encourage encounters, and create safety, trust and, most important, rest.