In Rotterdam's Bospolder-Tussendijken district, aka BoTu, work on BoTu Energy District started early 2018. Here, the IABR, together with the City of Rotterdam, the Delfshaven Cooperative, the Havensteder Housing Association, and a growing number of local partners, is working on a strategy in which the energy transition is also used for the social agenda of the neighborhood: How can added social value be generated for all residents, how can we put inevitable energy transition to use as a lever for social equity?

Workshop in Bospolder-Tussendijken

picture by Frank Hanswijk

Survival, First
In Bospolder-Tussendijken, many people are not concerned with the energy transition – no matter how important it is –, but with their own survival. They care about good education, work, decent incomes, good health care, and a clean and safe neighborhood in which they can and want to live, even as they age. This characterizes the challenge: Can a radical energy transition also help the people in BoTu achieve their goals? Can the energy transition be a lever for the creation of a resilient BoTu, a safe, clean, inclusive neighborhood with opportunities for all and with residents that are able to cope with the externally caused impact of the transition?


picture: Frank Hanswijk

Local Energy in BoTu
Although BoTu is vulnerable, hardly any other neighborhood in Rotterdam can boast as much private initiative: new forms of local democracy, countless young entrepreneurs in maker spaces and all kinds of cooperatives that know how to enter into smart collaborations with more established institutions. BoTu, therefore, seems to comprise the fertile ground necessary for the development of prospects for action that the neighborhood itself can implement to realize the energy transition and later reap the benefits.

In Bospolder-Tussendijken, the IABR–Atelier Rotterdam works with a growing number of partners: the Delfshaven Cooperative, the City of Rotterdam (including: Urban development, Social Development, Resilient Rotterdam, Stadsmarinier), the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague, Havensteder, ERA Contour, Rebel, BOOR Foundation & De Dakparkschool, De Speeldernis, Rotterdam Academy of Architecture, Veldacademie and many more.