Business casesNeighborhood restructuring (Rotterdam) (May 2015- ongoing)
Problem: The municipality of Rotterdam decided to replace the existing primary school located in Vredenoord neighborhood with a middle school for 400 students of which 80% will come from a different district. This decision will affect the neighborhood in a way that it will not reach set standards for children playgrounds, green public space, traffic safety and puts additional pressure on the capita density per hectare. Causes that have lead to this situation are: (1) No restructure procedure exists when public space becomes available for development, (2) no guideline exists to describe suitable areas for middle schools versus primary schools from a neighborhood perspective, (3) no policy exists for sustainable neighborhoods. (4) The decision of the city councilmember to place a middle school anywhere he likes as long as it has destination "maatschappelijk" without participation of the community is allowed by national legislation. Rotterdam will invest 500 million euro in new school buildings in the next 10 years. Not having a proper procedure will affect existing neighborhoods in Rotterdam as many schools will be relocated in the coming years.
Approach: Organize community into an organization and reach out to NGOs whom are experts in children playgrounds, trees in cities and traffic safety to review and to give advice if the neighborhood can fulfill the standards if a middle school is built. Work closely with the political parties to get the case on the agenda.
Result: After the city council members received a letter of concern of the largest children organization, Jantje Beton, in Holland, the case reopened at commission ZOCS. The commission ZOCS (education) agreed to have commission BWB (Public Space) to review the case if the neighborhood fulfills the standards for children playground, green public area and traffic safety. (update Feb 2016) Read more: www.vredenoordbuurt.nl