Rotterdam is a #NewDutch sustainability hub and BlueCity is one of the projects at the forefront of this movement. As a circular incubator model city that provides a platform for pioneers in the circular economy, it is a place where enterprising minds meet and develop a vision for action: creating a closed-loop system, promoting cross-pollination, and developing innovative solutions for a sustainable future.
Cross-pollination: developing innovative solutions
It is great to witness the passion of the entrepreneurs in BlueCity. Everyone here has the same goal – to make the world a little better and co-create solutions for global challenges. Rotterzwam grows oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds and coffee husks, residual products normally thrown away. Fruitleather converts discarded fruit into leather-like material, which can be used to make items such as purses. BlueBlocks develops plate material for construction using brown algae from the North Sea. Kusala Gifts makes a soap that is free of palm oil and plastics but with residual ingredients such as olive oil, coffee, and brewer's grains. There are so many different areas of expertise and sectors and a lot of cross-pollination happening between them. The Circular Challenge is a prime example of how BlueCity encourages collaboration and innovation. It is only through fostering partnerships both local and global that we can work on the greatest challenges of our generation together.
The Circular Economy: creating a closed-loop system
Our current linear economy just isn’t working. We’re running out of raw materials, and our soil is being exhausted. One of the solutions to tackle the global challenge of transitioning to sustainable ways of living lies in creating a closed-loop system. In BlueCity, more than 40 entrepreneurs are working day in and day out on the circular economy. The BlueCity Lab, located in the former changing rooms of the Tropicana swimming pool in Rotterdam, is where "bioneers" (pioneers in bio-design), develop new products and circular methods. BlueCity is a unique location on the River Meuse, perfect for events, and an inspiring example of how the Netherlands keeps innovating to make its cities greener, more sustainable, and more livable.
Meet the bioneers" (pioneers in bio-design) developing new products and circular methods
Events, workshops, and expeditions
The public events are the best ways to get to know BlueCity. For example, the clothing swap market Changez together with The Swapshop, and in various Let's Fix It workshops, where they teach Rotterdam residents how to repair items instead of throwing their stuff away and buying new things. There’s also Expedition BlueCity, a deep dive into the world of BlueCity. You get a tour of the former subtropical swimming pool, take a look at the BlueCity Lab - the first circular bio lab in the world, and meet a circular entrepreneur as part of this programme. There’s a good chance that visitors will leave with their own ideas about how to contribute to a sustainable world.
International partnerships for a sustainable future
The Netherlands is a country that values innovation, collaboration, and sustainability. BlueCity is an inspiring example of how the Netherlands innovates to make its cities greener, more sustainable, and more livable. However, solving global challenges requires international partnerships and collaboration. The Netherlands is already leading the way in sustainable development, ranking 4th in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI). By sharing knowledge, expertise, and resources, we can create a more sustainable future together.
Rotterdam's BlueCity is a pioneer sustainability hub, promoting a closed-loop system, cross-pollination, and innovative solutions. The Circular Challenge is a prime example of how BlueCity encourages collaboration and innovation. Solving global challenges requires international partnerships, and we invite more innovators and ideas to add to projects like BlueCity for a #NewDutch way of co-creating. Let's work together to create a more sustainable future.
Ask anyone about the Netherlands, and it’s usually our beautiful windmills, canals, and tulips that spring to mind. But did you know they were once ingenious innovations of their time? Today, with a strong reputation for technology, science and design, the Netherlands is at the forefront of innovation. Through ground-breaking research on topics such as energy transition, artificial intelligence, quantum technology and food scarcity, and with startups and citizens seeking creative solutions to make the planet more sustainable. So although we love the icons from our past, it’s time to talk about the future. Let’s talk new masters and new icons. Let’s talk #newdutch.