Envisioning the Port of Rotterdam in a 100% Circular Economy

Year 2021 (November)
Author(s) Verena Elisabeth Balz, Lei Qu
Commissioner Portus (Online)

The port of Rotterdam is a major hub in the global maritime exchange of fossil fuels, a key entry way to the European Union, and a strong contributor to the prosperity of the Netherlands. The port’s strong economic performance comes with high costs: the industrial complex causes grave negative environmental externalities, such as the pollution of air, water and land. In order to reduce and mitigate these unintended effects, the Port of Rotterdam authority is seeking more sustainable development and – as part of this effort – promoting the transition towards a circular economy. Students in the Research & Design studio “Spatial Strategies for the Global Metropolis” at Department of Urbanism, TU Delft, explored the immense challenges that this transition poses for the province of South Holland, the region that surrounds the port, by means of spatial analysis and regional design. In this article we draw on the results of students’ work to construct a portrayal of the role that the port of Rotterdam plays in this transition. By doing so, we demonstrate how the practice of regional design can contribute to a critical positioning of the port’s vision in a wider regional arena.

Cite as: Balz, V. E., & Qu, L. (2021). Envisioning the Port of Rotterdam in a 100% Circular Economy. Portus (online), (42). https://portusonline.org/envisioning-the-port-of-rotterdam-in-a-100-circular-economy/


This article first appeared on November 19, 2021 © PORTUS online



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