Veldacademie is monitoring the Resilient Bospolder-Tussendijken 2028 program in Rotterdam-West. This program is unique because it has been developed by organisations from within the neighborhood, such as the Delfshaven Coöperatie, together with Gemeente Rotterdam (the Municipality of Rotterdam) and housing associations such as Havensteder. Goal: to make the neighbourhood and its residents more resilient. The neighbourhood envisions to reach the social urban average within the next ten years.
With the Resilient Bospolder-Tussendijken 2028 (BoTu2028) program a lot of investments will be made in the neighbourhood. The goal is to create spatial and social investments that simultaneously reinforce each other. There are three themes in play: energy, healthcare and work.
A major goal for Bospolder-Tussendijken is to be one of the first districts in Rotterdam to be rid of gas as a source of energy. The energy transition that the neighbourhood must go through will simultaneously serve as leverage to address social issues. For example, the installation of a new heat network can be done in collaboration with young unemployed people from the neighbourhood without a diploma. With a certificate in energy installation, they will have more job prospects in the future. The energy transition can provide both training and work.
BoTu will be a testing ground for Rotterdam, a learning environment. Veldacademie is on ground monitoring these developments. We are investigating whether and in what way the changes in the neighbourhood contributes to the resilience of the neighbourhood and its residents. We will link this knowledge back to the BoTu2028 core team. And we will also share knowledge with local residents and professionals. We will be doing this through story cafés, among other things. This is an easily accessible way to exchange knowledge with residents in the neighbourhood. We are organising the story cafés in collaboration with Museum Rotterdam.
By working closely with educational institutions and with the help of the eyes and ears of many students, data is being be collected and documented onto a large digital map. This map, which will be accessible to everyone, will show all the initiatives in the neighbourhood - and make active networks in the neighbourhood more visible.
Spetterflat, construction of climate-proof inner garden.
A characteristic of this program is that the municipality and institutions involved want to be responsive and flexible. For example, the municipality is leaving the program open to be formulated based on specific questions or needs from the neighbourhood. In addition, an important goal is to increase the resilience of the residents and neighbourhood by strengthening networks and by connecting informal and formal networks.
But what is resilience? There is no absolute yardstick to measure social resilience. That is why the social resilience of BoTu will be determined through comparison with neighbourhoods that fall within the NPRZ (National Program Rotterdam Zuid) program. We are looking at the number of networks active in the neighbourhoods and how strongly these networks are connected to each other. And we are also investigating the self-organising capacity of the networks and the resources that they can use: are there facilities in the neighbourhood, how are people trained, how mobile are the residents?
The monitor studies the program qualitatively and consists of four sections.
1. Social development of the neighbourhood
We measure social development with the Index-plus, an extension of the Social Index. This is the quantitative part of the monitor and offers insight into how the neighbourhood and its residents are developing compared to other parts of Rotterdam.
We identify the social networks of the neighborhood by mapping all initiatives. From there we explore which networks are active in the neighborhood.
The BoTu2028 project assumes that you can achieve more social returns from an investment if you combine private and public budgets. For example, by raising private funds with a public investment.
Finally, we also document how the organizational structure develops and governance. To what extent is there indeed a responsive government and institutions, as intended?
We work with specialized partners for each component. In the end, Veldacademie will bring components together, compare the results to analyse connections and carry out final editing.
Kick-off Resilient BoTu 2028
Photos: Jan van der Ploeg and Hester Blankestijn