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Interview: Maarten Struijvenberg, Deputy Mayor of Rotterdam

Rotterdam is moving towards a new economy. We speak to the deputy mayor about how his city is changing and the ‘next economy’ roadmap
Photo: City of Rotterdam

What impact is the ‘new economy’ having on Rotterdam and the surrounding area’s development?

There are many visible, invisible, social and spatial developments that have an effect on Rotterdam and its region. Rotterdam, in that way, is no different than other cities. The availability of fast Internet and WiFi makes it possible to work anywhere–café’s, parks etc. That has a profound effect on traditional workspaces like offices that become obsolete. At the same time people and companies flock to the city centre, reversing the trend of the last 30 years of people and companies moving to the fringes of the city. Rotterdam has invested a lot in strengthening the quality of life for its citizens, like upgrading parks, squares, public transport systems and the promotion of biking and walking. At the same time the city and its partners have invested in dedicated campuses for new economic development. The next step forward is the Roadmap Next Economy (RNE) which is our plan to transition the regional economy. The Roadmap brings together local, regional and national governments, knowledge institutes, start ups, SME and corporations aiming to formulate a long-term vision and short term business cases that will (re)define our economic future. In the RNE we work closely together with Jeremy Rifkin and several other regions in Europe.

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