12A - Re-dynamisation of the Rotterdam harbor

How different territories can be more attractive to implement responsible economy? That is the basis of the conference “Ecosystems and territorial dynamics: innovative approaches”. The professor Jan Rotman (Erasmus University) focuses on the Rotterdam area, especially the Rotterdam harbor.
“This is not an era for change, but a change of era”, and with this words Jan Rotmans opened his presentation. He believes that there are many things to be learnt from the 2nd Industrial Revolution that should be brought to the REV 3. And now is the moment not to be afraid of change, also to be more pro-active and transformative.
The new step for achieving the technological and human potential is the economy of regions. The decentralization of autonomy, also governance should be transferred to the regions, giving them more opportunities to create connections between producers and consumers, and as a result a more dynamic economy.
The project
With this kind of transformative way of thinking, Jan Rotmans develops a project of revitalization for the Rotterdam’s area and harbor. Distancing himself from traditional borders, he believes that the appropriate size for regional reorganization, to implement his project, would be an area of 100 km by 100km.
The professor’s project to rehabilitate the area of Rotterdam is based on using the infrastructure already present around the harbor. Creating new affordable housing, and use the free space to develop biomass products.
Rotmans predicts the creation of several “fossil mausoleums”, temples of extraction and refinery of fossil fuels, some can already be seen in the areas surrounding the harbor of Rotterdam. “Oil refineries will close down within 10 years” this phenomenon can already be observed in different areas in Europe.
The goal of the whole project is to find a smart way to use and to product energy, implement and improve circular economy, for the regions to become entrepreneurial regions. Therefore, founding the next society, a zero waste economy. The end game is not money, is changing mental barriers, if people believe they can change things, they will promote societal innovation.
Gabriela Zeni - ESPOL Lille