5 ways Rotterdam-based initiatives are building a sustainable future

Rotterdam is thought for its out-of-the-box considering. I imply, simply have a look at town! A market corridor that appears like a large marshmallow? Funky yellow dice homes that folks can really dwell in? 

A fabulous place to go to, Rotterdam is a breeding floor for numerous mind-blowing initiatives and progressive tasks. Town with the most important port in Europe is all too conscious of the looming menace of local weather change — and is able to sort out it head on. 

Be it by rethinking waste or rethinking the entire economic system, listed here are 5 issues that Rotterdam-based initiatives are doing to create a greater world for everybody.

Taking farming to the following degree

The Dutch are fairly the farmers however it’s possible you’ll be shocked to seek out out that it’s not all greenhouses and huge farm fields. With increasingly more individuals shifting into cities and residing in tight areas, the Dutch understand that there’s a want for one thing a bit extra compact. 

DakAkker (which means roof subject in English) is certainly one of Europe’s largest open-air rooftop farms. Positioned on the highest of the Schieblock workplace constructing, it provides the area to experiment with completely different manners of rising greens and fruits on rooftops. Moreover that, in addition they have a botanical backyard and a number of beehives! 

Subsequent to being stellar farmers, the Dutch are additionally nice at being the primary to give you superior issues earlier than the remainder of the world catches up. The Floating Farm is on this case no exception. Lively since Might 2019, it’s the first floating farm on the earth! Its purpose is to provide wholesome meals as near the buyer as potential, with animal welfare being their prime precedence.

Cleansing up the plastic soup 

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Eradicating plastic from the ocean. Picture: The Ocean Cleanup/Provided

The mission of the Ocean Cleanup is to rid our oceans of plastics — an concept which was born when the then 16-year-old CEO Boyan Slat went scuba diving in Greece. As a substitute of marvelling at stunning underwater creatures, he was dissatisfied to see nothing however a bunch of plastic luggage. 

Not like most of us who go and assume — “What can I do about this?” — however then by no means really do something about it; Boyan went and began the “largest cleanup in historical past”. 

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Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor cleansing up plastic from a Rio Ozama within the Dominican Republic. Picture: The Ocean Cleanup/Provided

Ocean Cleanup has two objectives — clear up air pollution which has already collected within the oceans, and forestall plastics from coming into the oceans within the first place by intercepting probably the most polluting rivers. The know-how they use for that is conveniently referred to as the Interceptor, and it really works by extracting particles from the water and shifting it into in-built dumpsters. 

Utilizing our waste to create new merchandise 

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Fruitleather makes use of mangos to create leather-like materials. Picture: Sophie de Vos/BlueCity

Your dream of proudly owning a pair of fruit-based sneakers (doesn’t everybody dream this? 😉 ) might come true sooner somewhat than later, due to Fruitleather. Over current years, the corporate has been experimenting with turning left-over fruits into leather-like materials. 

It presently focuses on mango peels, and goals to create fruit leather-based that may be made into footwear and vogue equipment, amongst different issues. According to the ideas of round economic system, the designers and founders of Fruitleather, Koen Meerkerk and Hugo de Boon, see fruit waste not as a residue, however as a helpful useful resource.

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Entrepreneurs rethinking waste. Picture: Sophie De Vos/BlueCity

If a pair of sneakers manufactured from fruits was by no means your dream (I truthfully don’t know what to inform you if that’s the case…), maybe you’ll discover these two initiatives will wake you up 😉

Do you know that the Dutchies drink about 18 billion cups of espresso per 12 months? Now think about if we put all of the used espresso grounds from these espresso cups on one large pile. It might most likely be fairly a pile, huh? Fortunately for us, used espresso grounds are actually now not only a waste of area. 

Rotterzwam makes use of espresso grounds to develop oyster mushrooms on them. If that’s your factor, they’ve developed the so-called ‘rotterzwam growkit’ — a equipment that can assist you convert your individual espresso waste into mushrooms. You possibly can put a type of in your kitchen counter and — voilà — right here comes the primary a part of your mini-kitchen-farm. 

For those who’re probably not a mushroom individual, however nonetheless don’t need your espresso waste to go to waste, then concern not — there may be additionally Espresso Based mostly. They’re closing the loop for espresso by turning espresso grounds into biobased merchandise similar to notebooks, plant pots and occasional cups. 

Closing the loop: a world the place waste doesn’t exist

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BlueCity, situated within the former Tropicana swimming pool. Picture: Sophie de Vos/BlueCity

Not like the standard notion of “take 👉 use 👉  throw away,” a round economic system relies on the thought of “closing the loop”. This mainly means taking merchandise that now not serve their unique function, reworking them into one thing new and helpful, and thereby stopping them from ever coming into the landfill. 

That is the important thing precept behind the work of BlueCity — Rotterdam’s pool of alternatives (actually). In an effort to present new life to issues that now not serve their unique function, the corporate based mostly itself within the former Tropicana swimming pool. 

A metropolis inside a metropolis, a hub for round economic system pioneers, and a spot the place waste doesn’t exist, BlueCity is all about collaboration and serving to native entrepreneurs flip their concepts into motion. Its final imaginative and prescient is to disrupt the established order, and present individuals {that a} round economic system is potential and possible. Additionally it is the house base for a few of the corporations we beforehand talked about.

Sparking our creativeness of a greater world 

Studio Roosegaarde’s newest venture – GROW. Picture: Daan Roosegaarde/Press Launch

Love these dreamy utopian cities and landscapes from motion pictures and novels? That’s what Studio Roosegaarde does in actual life. Its purpose is to spark our creativeness of a greater world via artworks which join individuals and know-how. Their tasks not solely enhance city environments but additionally assist us combat local weather change. 

Dan Roosegaarde — artist, innovator, and the thoughts behind this inspiring social design lab — believes that the best way to mobilize individuals just isn’t by numbers and information, however by triggering their creativeness and creativity. No surprise this artistic studio discovered their dwelling in a spot referred to as The Dream Manufacturing unit! 

Their portfolio, which follows the beliefs of magnificence, in addition to clear air, water and power, contains stuff that’s past the creativeness. Assume the largest outside air air purifier, good highways that glow at evening impressed by Van Gogh’s Starry Night time, or their newest addition — GROW.


These tremendous inspiring initiatives show {that a} world with out overflowing landfills the place we don’t stomp on Mom Nature with each single factor we do just isn’t a utopia. And that is only a glimpse of all of the gems and revolutionary concepts that Rotterdam has to supply! 

What do you assume? Which of those initiatives impressed you probably the most? Inform us within the feedback beneath!

Function Picture: Sophie de Vos/BlueCity

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