THe shape of rotterdam
Concept & Strategy

  • Title The Shape of Rotterdam
  • Artist
    • T.B.D.
  • Client Rotterdam. Make it Happen
  • Commissioned by
    • Rotterdam. Make it Happen
  • In collaboration with
    • Gemeente Rotterdam, Rotterdam Partners
  • Location
    • Rotterdam

How do you align tourism with urban needs? This was the starting question of The Shape Of Rotterdam: a brand activation collaboration of Rotterdam. Make it Happen and the Municipality of Rotterdam.

Arttenders suggested an integral approach, where local needs and various municipal policy objectives are combined in a series of functional urban designs. Together with various partners in the city and divisions of the municipality we started developing the concept for The Shape of Rotterdam in an extensive strategy. Based on the strategy several spots will be developed into site specific playscapes throughout the upcoming years.



Interdisciplinary approach to urban development

In a rapid changing city urban development is a complex challenge. As a municipality you need to address long term challenges and short term needs at the same time. City wide topics such as the impact of climate change on the city and at taking into account ever changing neighborhood specific needs and social structures often provides a challenge. However, both are essential in creating  a sustainable and liveable public space.

These goals do not have to exclude each other. On the contrary, they can even reinforce each other, and on top of that create local support for large scale urban challenges. However, it does require a willingness to collaborate of all parties involved, and hence can be a tedious process.

The Shape of Rotterdam

The Shape of Rotterdam has started with an inquiry on how tourism can be used as a tool to strengthen local communities. Arttenders has suggested an integral approach where we research local identity, local needs, and municipal objectives to create multi-layered urban designs in collaboration with the Rotterdam creative industry.

Local stories are the pillar of communal pride. By putting these narratives first in a conceptual layer, each design reflects one or multiple stories that are  the neighborhood.

Depending on the location of the project we take into account site specific objectives in the field of e.g. health, climate control, resilience, urban planning, sports, culture in the municipal layer.

In the functional layer we look at local needs and practical functionality of urban space. We combine the input of these layers in a site specific concept and translate this into the design of user friendly playscape in close collaboration with local artists and suppliers.

These layers combine results in an cohesive strategy with a site specific approach for each neigborhood.

Make it happen

With the integral strategy at hand the first sites are being selected. Implementation will start in 2020.