Rotterdam councillors have voted in favour of a new masterplan to turn the Brainpark business district into a lively mixed-use area, with housing, cafes and shops as well as offices.

‘At the moment there is not much to do in Brainpark 1 after office hours, and this is a waste because it is easy to get to by bike and public transport, and is close to the Erasmus University campus,’ says the city’s housing chief Bas Kurvers. ‘So we are working together with the private sector to make this part of the city a great place to live, work, study and relax.’

The project involves building between 2,500 and 3,000 housing units in the district, of which 30% will be rent controlled. In addition, some 45,000 square metres of space will be available for both commercial and community functions, while the public space will be redeveloped with more focus on greenery and water.

The offices already located in the district will either be rebuilt or replaced by more energy efficient options and traffic pollution from the nearby A16 motorway will also be tackled with multifunctional noise barriers

Now the concept has been finalised and backed by the council, city officials and developers will start fleshing out the plans. If planning procedures can be completed quickly, work will start on the first buildings in 2023.