Case Study

In 2008 Rotterdam adopted the Binnenstadsplan (Inner City Plan), which has the Citylounge as a central concept focused on giving pedestrians more enjoyment of public space.

Residents, entrepreneurs, developers and socio-cultural institutions were bought together by the city administration to steer the development and implementation of the strategy between 2008 and 2020.

The governance of the plan has three levels: city councillors, who coordinate the programs and budget; a steering group who are responsible for the integration of the policy across the city; and an inner-city bureau who propose, implement and organize citizen participation in a targeted manner.

Under the umbrella of the Binnenstadsplan, there have been a variety of small and large-scale mobility projects, some of which include:

  • Connecting neighbourhoods with new road crossings
  • Reducing on-street parking spaces (around 3,000)
  • Building large parking garages on the outskirts of the city (“Park & Walk”)
  • Development of more comfortable, safe green spaces
  • Investment in active frontages, lighting and seating

The public space around Central Station, the riverbanks, the Binnenrotte and the Coolsingel are striking examples of where more space has been given to the pedestrian in the heart of the city center in a relatively easy and inexpensive way.

The city evaluated the success of the policy as a measurable extension of the average stay of the pedestrian in the city center. The 10% target was achieved and the satisfaction of Rotterdam residents concerning various aspects of the city center has also increased.

The number of visitors, demand for housing, spending level and the like have also grown. At the same time, Rotterdam residents remain constructively critical.