Healthy, safe and accessible with the Rotterdam Mobility Approach
Need for transition
The urgency of the plan stems from four urban challenges: growth and densification, environment and climate, outdoor space and greenery, and inclusiveness in mobility. Rotterdam will gain an additional 18,000 homes up to 2022, and an incredible 50,000 homes up to 2040. An increase in the scale of public transport and investment in the infrastructure of the region are required to accommodate this. At the same time, the environment plays a major role: air quality in the city does not meet European standards everywhere, and Rotterdam must become more climate-proof. The municipality wants to continue working on making the city more attractive, green, and healthy by investing in well-functioning and attractive public spaces. To make mobility more inclusive, it is necessary to make daily facilities easily accessible and more pleasant, to make public transport locations more easily and pleasantly accessible, and to realise the increase in the scale of public transport to Zuid.
The extensive analysis underlying the RMA clearly shows the mobility transition has been going on in the city centre for years. The number of movements by bicycle, on foot, and via public transport is growing, and car use is not increasing. To ensure that we facilitate this growing demand for healthy and clean mobility, choices must be made in the distribution of space for traffic.
The main ideas behind the approach are: 1) ample room for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport; 2) safe and healthy connections; 3) an enhancement of mobility choices and 4) vital economic traffic. With this approach, pedestrians and cyclists will be provided with more and better quality space, and traffic will be guided through the city differently – destination traffic will remain able to access everywhere, but other car traffic will be distributed to main routes. This improves air quality and quality of life, and offers more space for other living environments. Boulevards, city streets and residential streets gradually transform into road profiles with speed classification. Public transport hubs become more accessible and attractive for pedestrians and cyclists, and a transfer point for car drivers.
The municipality agrees on a ZES zone (Zero Emission Urban Distribution) with the logistics sector and works out incentives for clean logistics. All modalities are given a place, but the residential quality comes first. The approach is illustrated on four levels, namely for the city as a whole, the city centre, the neighbourhood (urban districts, suburbs and small centres) and the region.
The municipality of Rotterdam will, over the coming years, gradually develop into a city where it is increasingly pleasant to stay and move around. The transition will start this year with small-scale experiments, and up to 2022 the foundation will be laid in the city centre with the redesign and quality boost of the Coolsingel. In the final phase of development – until 2040 – a new western bank connection will come into view, which will allow for the expansion of the high-quality public transport network on the west side of the city.