Call to Rotterdammers: Make Rotterdam

On 11 October the 5th IABR and architecture firm ZUS launched the first project of ‘I Make Rotterdam’.

To ensure our cities remain habitable in the future, we must conceive, design and manage them differently. That is the message of the 5th IABR: Making City. It is in this context that architecture firm ZUS is tackling Rotterdam’s Central District. This is the area between the Central Station, Weena and Pompenburg. Under the motto ‘I Make Rotterdam’, ZUS is calling on all Rotterdammers to contribute to the development of their city. During a well-attended IABR lecture on Tuesday 11 October, ZUS launched the first project of ‘I Make Rotterdam’: de Luchtsingel. This temporary pedestrian bridge between the Central and North districts will be financed through crowd-funding. Interested parties can make a contribution through www.imakerotterdam.nl.

Spreaker Alexandros Washburn (head urban planning, New York) and Alexandra van Huffelen (Alderman for Sustainable Development, Inner City and Public Spaces at City of Rotterdam) bought the first parts of the Luchtsingel.

Bridge over Hofplein
The area around Hofplein was once a bustling city centre but is now dominated by emptiness and speeding cars. ZUS hopes to turn this back into a lively pedestrian area within a few months. In times of crisis, however, a new method of financing is needed — crowd-funding in this case. Both inhabitants and businesses in Rotterdam can help to build this project by buying planks for the bridge. The bridge is one of the initiatives planned by ZUS to transform the Central District into a high-quality destination in a low-budget manner. ‘I Make Rotterdam’ does not end when the 5th IABR: Making City event ends, as the project is set to continue until 2014.

I Make Rotterdam
With this project ZUS is exploring new possibilities to actively involve citizens in making the city. The way in which citizens exercise influence is changing rapidly owing to the emergence of digital applications in spatial planning. ‘I Make Rotterdam’ takes advantage of this by offering a platform for private initiatives and crowd-funding. ZUS wants to boost the city in a way that everybody can participate in — by starting a shop, organising a concert, opening a restaurant, or building a house.

More information: www.imakerotterdam.nl.