Balancing Rotterdam's power grid: Stedin's campaign

Balancing Rotterdam's power grid: Stedin's campaign

ROTTERDAM, 19 June 2023 – As solar energy becomes increasingly popular, the balance of the power grid in Rotterdam is shifting. Stedin, the grid operator, is launching a campaign this week to educate the public about efficient energy use, starting with the 'Zonwassen' initiative (Solar washing).

Raising awareness on energy balance

The campaign aims to encourage the public to use electricity following the rhythm of nature, i.e., during daylight hours. With over 2 million households equipped with solar panels, energy production during sunny periods is plentiful. However, if this energy is not immediately used, it is largely wasted as it cannot be stored efficiently. Excessive energy use during peak hours could also cause disruptions in the power grid.

Zonnerette: a concept laundry powered by solar energy

Research conducted by Stedin showed that over 90% of people without solar panels are unaware that they could also utilise solar energy produced by others, thus reducing their energy consumption. High energy consumption during peak hours can cause overloads and potential disruptions. To launch the campaign and demonstrate the concept, Stedin is opening the 'Zonnerette' (Solar Laundromat), a pop-up laundromat in Rotterdam, where people can do their laundry for free, provided there is enough solar energy.

Changing energy consumption habits

The misconception that electricity is necessarily cheaper at night still exists among a third of the Dutch people. Stedin's campaign seeks to rectify this by enlightening people, both with and without solar panels, about the benefits of using high-consumption electrical appliances during sunny periods.

David Peters, Chief Transition Officer at Stedin, stated, “We have been used to using electricity with off-peak tariffs for devices that require a lot of power. However, with sustainably generated power via solar panels or wind turbines, this is no longer applicable. This energy should be used when it is widely available. The rhythm of nature assists in this regard.”

Revitalising Ommoord: The Romeynshof development

Revitalising Ommoord: The Romeynshof development

ROTTERDAM, 14 June 2023 – A new era beckons for Rotterdam's Ommoord district as a sustainable, mixed-use development named Romeynshof is set to reshape the local landscape and community experience.

Development agreement of Romeynshof signed

The development agreement for Romeynshof, a Paris Proof project, was signed by AM, an area developer, and the municipality of Rotterdam on 14 June 2023 at the Provada real estate fair in Amsterdam. This agreement marks a significant milestone in the realisation of the Romeynshof project, which will see the transformation of an existing cultural and health centre into a resilient area development​.

The vision behind Romeynshof

The Romeynshof project, known by its working title 'Populus', is a novel initiative that combines a cultural district and health centre with 200 rental and purchase homes, a considerable portion of which fall in the middle segment in terms of affordability. The development also includes a library, an SKVR (Centre for Art and Culture Activities), a Centrum Jeugd en Gezin, and the ERGO research centre, in addition to new housing for Stichting Zonboog's health centre.

In the forthcoming period, the project will be further developed with future users and residents towards a final design.

Photo: Jos Melchers, Director of Area Development (Municipality of Rotterdam), Annemarie Jol, Director of Development (AM).Photo: Jos Melchers, Director of Area Development (Municipality of Rotterdam), Annemarie Jol, Director of Development (AM).

Embracing sustainability

The project fully aligns with the objectives of Paris Proof, with all 200 homes planned to be built using wood. The design of the four buildings included in the project comes from LEVS Architects, with an emphasis on connecting the various social and health functions with the housing units. BAM Wonen is scheduled to handle the project's realisation, set to commence in the first quarter of 2025​.

Populus: the green heart of Ommoord

Populus, a name derived from the old poplar tree situated at the centre of the development, is poised to become the green and social heart of the Ommoord district in Rotterdam. The urban design is inspired by the former polder structure and seamlessly blends into the post-war high-rise ensemble designed by the renowned urban designer Lotte Stam-Beese. A significant area adjacent to the metro line will be designed as an ecological linear park connecting to the main park structure of Ommoord. This ecological, water-rich zone extends into the core of Populus, creating a vibrant space for everyone​.

Location and Directions

Populus is conveniently located next to the Romeynshof metro station, making it easily accessible for residents and visitors alike. The Ommoord district is known for its green spaces and community-focused amenities, adding to the appeal of this new development.


Rotterdam landlords' platform tackling housing crisis

Rotterdam landlords' platform tackling housing crisis

ROTTERDAM, 14 June 2023 – A noteworthy initiative aims to improve the rental sector in Rotterdam, with a platform established by landlords. With 77,000 private rental homes in the city, it focuses on eradicating housing discrimination, reducing the housing shortage, and promoting sustainability.

Landlords initiative to bolster rental sector

Landlords of Rotterdam, a city historically rich in the private rental sector, are driving changes for the betterment of the industry. To this end, a collaboration has been formed between five significant private landlords and Chantal Zeegers (Alderman for Climate, Construction and Living) in the presence of Mayor Aboutaleb. Together, they have signed an intention agreement concerning the rental market.

“Rotterdam's housing shortage needs tackling, homes require sustainability, and renters protection,” remarked Alderman Chantal Zeegers, “This collaboration is unique and crucial because we need the private landlords for these tasks.”

Good landlordship and the role of PPVR

A new platform, the Rotterdam Private Landlords Platform (Platform Particuliere Verhuurders Rotterdam - PPVR), is created as a sounding board for established landlords and a discussion partner for the city government to resolve questions and needs. Besides, PPVR also participates in a pilot aimed at combating discrimination in the housing market. Furthermore, it will play a crucial role in implementing the 'Good Landlordship Law' in practice.

Sustainable goals and unburdening package

Rotterdam's government ensures a point of contact for landlords and rental brokers to address their sustainability concerns. Concurrently, the Ministry is developing an unburdening package (ontzorgingspakket) to assist private landlords in greening their properties. This package comprises knowledge, information, advice, and financing for sustainability measures, in which the municipality and PPVR will actively participate.

Optimal utilization of existing housing stock

Addressing Rotterdam's housing challenge requires not just new constructions and office conversions but also optimal utilization of the existing housing stock. The municipality, in cooperation with the PPVR, will investigate the most effective ways to ensure that every resident resides in the most suitable dwelling.    

Rotterdam's pact with builders for sustained housing production

Rotterdam's pact with builders for sustained housing production

ROTTERDAM, 9 June 2023 – In an unprecedented move, the city of Rotterdam and approximately 60 parties, including housing corporations, builders, and developers, have formed a united front to ensure housing construction continues.

Housing accord aims to sustain construction

The municipality of Rotterdam has inked a "Doorbouwakkoord" (literally, "Build-on Agreement") with these stakeholders to ensure that planned constructions do not stall. With more than 30 measures, they aim to guarantee that the 3,500 homes planned per annum are indeed built.

This initiative encompasses creating sufficient construction sites, increasing the number of affordable homes, and maintaining the affordability of construction. Alderman Chantal Zeegers (Climate, Building and Living), articulated, “Seeing such high demand for affordable housing and the imminent halt of its construction due to various reasons is disheartening. As a city administration, we do not want to stand by and watch. All Rotterdam citizens deserve a home, and it is time to act. That is why we are committing to this task with all these parties.”

Housing sector faces headwinds

Due to factors such as increased construction costs, limited building space, and higher interest rates, construction projects risk delays or cancellation. Simultaneously, the city's population growth has led to an increased demand for affordable housing. A comprehensive attack plan with over 30 measures aims to keep the construction production on track.

Build-on fund for affordable housing and sites

The Doorbouwakkoord introduces a build-on fund that will ensure the construction pace of affordable homes: rental homes with a maximum monthly rent of €1075 and homes for purchase with a maximum buying price of €355,000.

Additionally, to counteract stagnating construction due to escalated costs, a municipal contribution will be provided for mid-category housing. In an effort to keep construction costs down, the land value will be indexed by a maximum of 5% in 2022 and 2023.

Building for a climate-neutral future

Addressing climate concerns is of paramount importance. The construction sector faces the challenge of reducing CO2 emissions. By closely collaborating and sharing knowledge, the municipality, corporations, and market parties aim to be prepared for climate-neutral construction, mitigating any potential delay in construction plans due to new sustainability laws and regulations.

30,000 new homes to transform Rotterdam's east

30,000 new homes to transform Rotterdam's east

ROTTERDAM, 24 May 2023 – In a significant development for Rotterdam's Oostflank, plans have been unveiled for the addition of 30,000 new homes in the area. This ambitious project, encompassing a new city bridge, public transport improvements, and an increase in jobs and local amenities, promises to reshape the city's eastern districts. Public feedback on the proposed changes is welcomed, marking the commencement of an exciting chapter in Rotterdam's urban development.

Public Transport and Housing Expansion

The city bridge between Kralingen and IJsselmonde, bolstered by a fast tram line connecting Kralingse Zoom and Zuidplein, paves the way for extensive residential construction on the city's east flank. Alderman Chantal Zeegers (Climate, Construction, and Housing) commented on the project's ambitious scope, “With 30,000 additional homes, we are assisting a substantial number of Rotterdam house seekers. But our city government has more than just providing a roof over your head in mind. We aim to create delightful living spaces! Places where children can attend school, public transport is easily accessible, and where residents can enjoy sports and green spaces in their neighbourhood.”

Most of the new homes, facilities, and businesses are planned near existing and new public transport hubs, including Rotterdam Alexander Station, Kralingse Zoom metro station, future Stadionpark Station, and Zuidplein metro station (near Hart van Zuid). There is also a desire to build additional homes in existing residential areas such as Het Lage Land, Prinsenland, De Esch, Bloemhof, and Hillesluis, whilst preserving the neighbourhoods' distinct character.

Illustration of the view from Riederlaan in Feijenoord of the new Rotterdam Stadiumpark station.Illustration of the view from Riederlaan in Feijenoord of the new Rotterdam Stadiumpark station.

Towards a Greener and More Sustainable Living

The city government is also investing in community gardens and local parks – green spaces in the immediate living environment that everyone can use. Alderman Vincent Karremans (Public Space and Mobility) stated, “Every square meter in the city must compete with many functions, such as greenery, parking, public transport, and housing. Therefore, we are planning to balance these requirements while creating a pleasant living environment.” These initiatives include connecting existing and new residential neighbourhoods through green networks and linking regional green areas.

Sports Facilities and Allotment Gardens

While the number of sports fields in the East flank will remain constant, many sports clubs will relocate to a new sports complex in the Oostflank area, as current sports field locations are suitable for housing construction. Over the next decade, three allotment gardens in the area will make way for new homes, sports fields, and other amenities close to those homes. The city government is discussing transition and compensation arrangements with the allotment garden boards.

Public Feedback

The city council invites public feedback on the changes proposed in the Rotterdam's urban vision from 30 May to 14 July. These perspectives may lead to adjustments in the plan. After the summer, the city council will make a decision on the final revision of the urban vision, taking into account the submitted views.

Oostflank Rotterdam

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