Rotterdam has been voted one of the Smart Cities 2014. The quarterly magazine The New Economy has given Smart Cities Awards to twenty cities all over the world who qualify as ‘cities of the future’ in the area of sustainable development. The New Economy praised Rotterdam for its efforts to protect itself against climate change and bolster its image as the most sustainable port city in the world.
Its construction of ‘water plazas’ and green roofs, as well as the city’s transport network, were cited as the most notable examples. Rotterdam is proud to be given the title of ‘smart city’. Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb: “In conjunction with universities and colleges and the corporate world, our region is finding solutions to the challenges that increasingly face all modern urban areas. A good example is Rotterdam’s approach to water, which has made it the most prominent and innovative water-knowledge city in the world, as well as an inspiring example to other delta cities.”
Collaborating with prominent partners, Rotterdam has developed a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy which has generated innovative approaches that are now being emulated across the world. Additional water storage in new builds, specially designed water plazas, many square metres of green roofing and a knowledge centre for floating construction demonstrate how a densely populated urban environment like Rotterdam can respond to heavy rainfall and rising water levels in a smart way. In addition, these measures contribute to the greening of outdoor space and make the city more attractive for its residents. Rotterdam serves as the testing ground for innovative solutions from which other world cities will be able to benefit greatly.
The Smart Cities Awards are decided based on criteria such as mobility, IT and telecommunications infrastructure, water management, sustainable energy and recycling, safety, cultural development, globalisation and the approach to local government. In addition to Rotterdam, other Dutch cities to make it onto the list of international Smart Cities 2014 were Utrecht, Groningen and Eindhoven.
In the early stages of the competition, the city marketing organisation Rotterdam Partners, in conjunction with the municipal authorities, provided data on areas such as mobility in the city, the city’s approach to climate change and innovative partnerships within the city. A professional jury of experienced economics journalists selected the winners from a total of 73 nominees.
Fred van Beuningen, Managing Director of Rotterdam Partners: “This recognition is very significant for Rotterdam’s image. A smart city is a liveable city where innovation and progress are key. The fact that Rotterdam is entitled to call itself Smart City 2014 contributes enormously to the city’s international PR and branding. This distinction is a great addition to the positive press we have already received about Rotterdam’s approach to climate change in renowned media outlets such as CNN, the BBC and the Guardian.”
The New Economy is read by policymakers all over the world. The magazine discusses subjects such as finance, technology and sustainability. The New Economy’s Smart Cities Awards were awarded for the first time this year (Rotterdam Partners).