Living Lab Rotterdam: District tours through Rotterdam

In the past few months Living Lab Rotterdam has organised two online meetings in a small setting. Together with colleagues from various Rotterdam institutions, we determined what cultural tourism in Rotterdam comprises and in which areas there are still opportunities. The meetings showed that the best way to support the development of sustainable cultural tourism is to adopt a neighbourhood-oriented approach. Part of the district-oriented approach are the district tours.

By means of a district tour, during which photographs and notes are made, the unique cultural and historical qualities of subareas and specific districts are recorded on a map. Simultaneously, these tours served to get a qualitative insight in sustainable development challenges for the district, including discussion on if and how tourism could contribute to this development.  Ultimately, the district tours yield a geographical map with many details, but also an insight into the current cultural and tourism system and visitor flows. The map includes potential growth opportunities and limitations for entrepreneurs and cultural institutions.

In the online meetings it became clear that the Rotterdam participants had the greatest need to organise district tours in the following districts/areas:

  • Hoek van Holland
  • Afrikaanderwijk
  • Bospolder-Tussendijken

During the tours on three different dates in October, a mixed group of residents, entrepreneurs and researchers joined. Together they (re)discovered pearls in the neighbourhood and discussed what the areas and neighbourhoods were still missing. In a follow-up meeting on 8 November, the various neighbourhood maps will be examined together with policymakers and combined with their policy plans and data. In this setting, next steps for determining policy interventions for one or more districts will be determined.