Taking into account socio-economic and climate challenges, Rotterdam is safeguarding the future of its inhabitants. To be ready, the City of Rotterdam, supported by strategic global consultant Jeremy Rifkin and his TIR Consulting Group LCC, has defined an investment strategy, Roadmap Next Economy, to make sure that the necessary economic transition in the region will be achieved.

The transition from a mainly fossil fuel driven economy to an economy based on the use of sustainable energy sources will be bolstered within the next decades, providing opportunities to significantly stimulate a circular economy. This development will be strongly boosted by the dynamic and rapidly growing ICT-sector. The use of internet, big data, robotics and sensor techniques will have enormous disruptive effects on existing business models. Through the RUGGEDISED project, the city will look for ways to respond to these changes in order to be competitive and ready for the future in such a way that the inhabitants of the City of Rotterdam profit in the best possible way.

" It’s more than green economy, it’s more than Mother Nature, it’s more than clean air, it’s also about stable societies. "

 - Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb


With enthusiasm Rotterdam wants to introduce the Heart of South area as the Rotterdam Lighthouse district for the RUGGEDISED project in which it will implement 13 smart solutions.

The South of Rotterdam faces relatively severe social-economic challenges accompanied by a young and multi-cultural population. The area is currently dominated by a car-oriented infrastructure where citizens and visitors sometimes feel estranged. Through RUGGEDISED the Heart of South district will undergo a serious transition in the upcoming years, consisting of the sustainable renovation of an out-dated shopping centre, the renovation of the public transport hub as well as various large-scale multifunctional buildings amongst which a swimming pool, an arts building, exhibition halls and a congress center. Furthermore, the public space in the area will be drastically redeveloped. With this project the city of Rotterdam will prepare the district for the future with the aim to achieve maximum energy efficiency and CO2 reduction while simultaneously looking to have a major social economic impact  in terms of job creation, levels of participation of citizens and quality of life.