The Just City
Bospolder Tussendijken (BoTu) is characterized by its unique dynamic between its residents. Majority of BoTu are made up out of ‘New Dutch’-citizens, of which over 70% are from a non-Western background. However in Rotterdam we rather just call them ‘Rotterdammers’. BoTu is located near the Vierhaven makers district, picturesque historical Delfshaven, commerce buzzing Schiedamseweg, the old Park 1943 and the new Dakpark.
Combined with a high concentration of non-profit organizations, grass roots organized events and social entrepreneurs, make BoTu into a neighborhood with enormous potential. Like many other Rotterdam neighborhoods, BoTu is facing serious socioeconomic challenges: low income households, poor accessibility to the labor market, health concerns, loneliness among the elderly and disturbances by street youths. BoTu can be considered as a vulnerable neighborhood. The municipality of Rotterdam considers these high concentrations of low income households as disproportionate. Rotterdam housing strategy therefore stimulates the influx of higher incomes to these vulnerable neighborhoods. BoTu is facing the challenge of providing space to these newcomers, and at the same time improving the social index (education / economics / health) of the current residents. As residents are worried that the newcomers will come at cost of ‘their’ neighborhood, a solution has to be found in The Just City: a city that provides space for all.
Composed out of inherently different citizens, The Just City celebrates these differences by offering an abundance of common spaces. A vast array of public squares, terraces, rooms, sports halls, cafe’s that offers a simple but empowering quality: choice. The design proposal is made out of three interventions that offer a multiplicity of public spaces to Visserijplein.