Brazilian students from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), part of Erasmus University Rotterdam, have conducted a research on the Tarwewijk in Rotterdam. During an exhibition on 8 and 9 May, they present a plan to improve this neighbourhood.
In February and March 2015, Brazilian IHS students in Urban Management and Development- Sustainable Urbanism programme, in partnership with the Municipality of Rotterdam, conducted a research on Rotterdam Tarwewijk. A neighbourhood considered as vulnerable and one of the priority neighbourhoods in Rotterdam, facing diverse challenges such as lack of social cohesion which stems from demographic and cultural diversity, poor housing quality and complex property ownership, high rate of unemployment, and a negative image from within and outside the neighbourhood.
During the five-week workshop the students worked on topics ranging from housing, facilities and social programming, education and employment, public space, health sports and wellbeing and integrated planning. The Brazilian students are part of the Brazilian Science without Borders (SwB)-programme. This offers top students from Brazil the possibility to study and conduct research at a
Based on their on-ground observations, experiences and interviews the students developed various objectives, strategies and actions for all these topics. They combined all of their proposed interventions into a holist plan to improve the attractiveness and well-being of the Tarwewijk:
- Create stricter rules to control unethical landlords who are illegaly renting houses in poor conditions in the Tarwewijk
- Incentivize landlords to invest in the repairs of their property
- An energy-efficient and green approach: green roofs, green houses on top of buildings
- Starting from elementary schools engage teachers in understanding the usefullness of making key professions (such as public service jobs, hospital, harbor) attractive to their students.
- Encourage participation in social programs initiated by the city by the use of social media and alternative communication methods
- Involve residents to be part of the decision-making process, e.g. allow residents to decide what is best to do with an empty building
- Create a crowdfunded pedestrian bridge to connect the people of the Tarwewijk to the waterfront of the Maashaven
- Convert the metro line in the Tarwewijk into a welcoming cozy area using local artists and attractive parks below the metro line
- Engage residents to create community gardens to enhance integration
- Create a web page for Tarwewijk announcing events, new developments, and local initiatives that take place in the Tarwewijk.
- Convert open space into a public cinema
IHS is an international centre of excellence associated with the Erasmus University Rotterdam and operating on a global scale that offers specialized post graduate education, training, advisory services and applied research in the fields of urban management, housing and urban environment with the mission to develop human and institutional capacities to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in cities.