MVRDV - Working on Our Own Neighbourhood: MVRDV Helps to Launch “Mobility Challenge” in Rotterdam’s Hoogkwartier

Working on Our Own Neighbourhood: MVRDV Helps to Launch “Mobility Challenge” in Rotterdam’s Hoogkwartier


Each year, MVRDV works on approximately 140 projects in 25 countries spread around the world, but the international architecture firm also cares about its own neighbourhood. To this end, MVRDV has been involved in the Mobility Challenge, a project initiated by the inhabitants and entrepreneurs of the Hoogkwartier – where MVRDV’s Rotterdam office is located – to make people aware that their mobility choices also have an impact on the public space in our city. The challenge was officially launched was this weekend by Alderman Judith Bokhove from Rotterdam.

The Mobility Challenge is an experiment in which ninety residents and workers from the quarter take up the challenge to use shared transport such as shared cars, shared bicycles and public transport for two months. Thirty of these participants have volunteered to leave their car in a parking garage outside the neighbourhood, with vacant parking spaces temporarily converted into green spaces. The aim of the experiment is to show what new forms of mobility, including cycling, public transport, and car sharing, can mean for the public space in the neighborhood.

The Mobility Challenge is a collaboration between Stadslab Hoogkwartier and the municipality of Rotterdam to make the neighborhood "future-proof". Stadslab Hoogkwartier is an initiative of Marco Stout (city maker) and Sanne van Manen (architect of the MVRDV and project leader of the Mobility Challenge).

The idea originated from the need of residents of the Hoogkwartier for more public space and greenery in the neighborhood. There are 768 on-street parking spaces in the Hoogkwartier, taking up more space than the neighbourhood’s greenery, with cars that stand still for 95% of the time. By sharing cars and using alternative transport modes, each shared car can replace roughly five normal cars, freeing space and enabling a cleaner, safer and more community-oriented city quarter. But how does that work? What will be the participants’ experiences of changing their transport habits? We will learn that in this experiment.

Production: Bende, Studio 1:1 and MVRDV. Monitoring: DRIFT