Datawalking at Blaak and a visit to the RDM Campus

The first week of the Smart and SHARED Cities minor
On Monday, 26 students from Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University gathered in the Blaakzaal of the Rotterdam public library. They shared their first thoughts and insights on the concept “smart cities” and participated in a data walk at Blaak. During this walk, the students identified and discussed different data hubs situated in the city. Questions such as “who collects this data?” and “what is being done with the data that is collected here?” arose and were discussed among students.

A group of students facing their teacher, in front of are large windows with a screen with a presentation in front of it

In the coming weeks, the students will continue to explore the opportunities and challenges for (smart) cities from different academic perspectives. During five modules students learn more about the implementation of technology in the city and get an insight in the (social) issues that arise from it. Read more on the program outline on our minor page.

RDM-campus tour
Next to the regular classes, the students get to enjoy multiple guest lectures and fieldtrips the upcoming weeks. The first trip took place last Friday, when the students were welcomed at the RDM-campus. A good example of an urban area development project that is the result of quadruple helix collaboration focused on industrial and urban innovation.

Situated at the former shipyard of the Rotterdamche Droogdok Maatschappij (RDM), this campus houses multiple institutions: the Techniek College Rotterdam and the Hogeschool Rotterdam have classrooms in the building. Next door to these educational institutions, offices and workspaces of multiple innovative start-ups are situated, and the municipality of Rotterdam also holds office spaces in the building.

Two guest speakers of the Municipality of Rotterdam were present. Rob Wouters, urban planner at the municipality of Rotterdam, gave a presentation about both historical and present urban development of the Heijplaat, the area where the RDM -campus is located. He focused on the challenges that developers faced when making plans to repurpose the area.

The second speaker of the day, Frank Vieveen, manager Smart City Rotterdam, discussed how the municipality tries to involve citizens in the digital transformation of the city. Frank and his team are responsible for smart, digital applications that make Rotterdam attractive for companies, residents and visitors. He introduced the students to a wide range of digital innovations used by the municipality on a daily basis.

In the afternoon, the students were taken along on a tour of the RDM -campus. It gave them the opportunity to have a closer look at the educational facilities of the Techniek College and Hogeschool, such as the woodworking rooms and 3D-printing labs, but also at the working spaces of the start-up companies next door. Students standing in the RDM-campusThe students were impressed by the different products developed by these start-up companies, ranging from recyclable windmills to 3D printed alternatives for coral reefs (Urban Reefs). 

Overall, the students were very enthusiastic about their trip to the RDM -campus, which gave an insight in perspectives of different stakeholders and what some of the opportunities and limitations are when bringing together different parties.

More information
More about the Minor Smart and SHARED Cities