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Year: 2022

Client: Municipality of Rotterdam

Rotterdam mobility intervention strategy

Reframing the Municipality’s tactical approach to accelerate the mobility transition

Rotterdam has experimented a great deal in recent years to accelerate the mobility transition, with Humankind having been part of this approach since the beginning through programs like Happy Streets and modular parklets.

In 2022, Humankind was commissioned to assist and reframe Rotterdam’s strategy for mobility interventions. The Department of Mobility of the Municipality was looking to shift their existing approach to a more experimental one, one that was inherently innovative: not only focused on a straightforward, visible result on the streets but also seeking new ways to involve citizens and implement mobility-related participation processes.

Building on the experience from two participatory interventions that took place in 2020 at two central locations in Rotterdam, Kruisplein and Eendrachtsplein, the Municipality was looking to review and repeat those experiences, which were considered a success by some, but a nuisance by others.

After two years, new insights, goals and ambitions had arisen, presenting two options: either to repeat the interventions exactly but with better communication, or to do real participation which could lead to unimagined ideas – ideas that the municipality would then need to be able to deal with. In such a context, we proposed what was, in our view, a much needed zoom out first, in order to analyze which policy plans have now been drawn up, which opportunities present themselves and how much internal support there is, among many other focuses, to determine a good strategy for the interventions.

Through a creative workshop in which we used our human-centered design approach in Miro, we shared our insights with various stakeholders from the municipality. This was an efficient way to harvest insights and ideas, make professionals put the experience of citizens first, for example exploring various ‘citizen journeys’, and co-creating the first ideas in one visual language.

Additionally, we created 3 visual scenarios, sharing some best practices from other countries, as well as our recommendations, which go beyond the technical implementation of the intervention and include how to develop a communicative creative concept, deal with weak signals and understand various mobility trends. Most importantly, however, were our recommendations on how to innovate the internal way of working – as transitions are often not technical matters, but about revolutionizing processes.

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