"Copying the Rotterdam South National Programme would be a grave error"

Words originally printed in Vers Beton article.

The National Program Rotterdam South (NPRZ) served as the Netherlands' sole urban policy program for ten years. Now, 19 additional vulnerable neighborhoods are imitating South Rotterdam's success. Reinout Kleinhans, a specialist in urban redevelopment, claims that although there is a "life-size" risk of copying, doing so would be a "capital blunder". The lack of local involvement, in his opinion, is NPRZ's greatest weakness.

In his and LDE GMD's published book, De migratiesamenleving - Migratie en diversiteit als gordiaanse knoop, he demonstrates how a problematic aspect of the theory of change in the NPRZ plays out in reality. The question then becomes, is it proper for the National Program for Urban Policy to use the NPRZ as its benchmark?

Kleinhans concludes "copying would be a grave error. Although it is claimed that this is not the intended outcome, the threat still exists. The size of Rotterdam South's lead is where folks go wrong. The Rotterdam South National Program truly began in 2006, following the conclusion of the Pact op Zuid, when significant players in the fields of housing, education, and employment began collaborating after much trial and error. Other cities can look with envy at the experience of the past 17 years since they are so far away from it themselves.

Read more of this captivating dialogue and gather more of Reinout's thoughts here.