Social Impact by Design


The strategy to facilitate new forms of cooperation that are needed to make BoTu resilient.

The objective of Social Impact by Design is to actively seek structural solutions within a process, that make BoTu resilient. These solutions will often require extra (private) investment. We will search for solutions that work and that are financially feasible. In short, we will strive for solutions that satisfy the following fundamental principles:

  • Thinking and working from the perspective of the challenges in BoTu
  • Seeking integral solutions rather than partial solutions
  • Identifying what is possible instead of what is not
  • Solutions that have the support of local residents
  • Solutions that contribute to improving the living environment in BoTu
  • Solutions that achieve the huge potential that exists in BoTu
  • Solutions that make BoTu resilient.
The persistence of the challenges in BoTu requires an approach that is based on well-organised cooperation between residents, the Municipality, the housing corporation and private parties from the outset.

Creative and integral solutions are necessary to make BoTu the first resilient district in Rotterdam. To achieve these solutions, creative talent and brainpower, combined with major investments are necessary. Investments by the Municipality, the housing corporation, local entrepreneurs, as well as private firms that are not yet active in BoTu.

The core idea behind this approach is to create added value in the area. Added value is produced by bringing together talent and brainpower and applying innovative working methods. The combination of these elements forms the process in which we will elaborate the package of investments for BoTu.

This working method is based on the water resilience approach developed by the Rockefeller Foundation in the US following hurricane Sandy in the New York metro area, called ‘Rebuild by Design’.

Rebuild by Design provides a framework that forms the basis for this Call for Action. We are explicitly looking for a link with resilience thinking as supported by 100 Resilient Cities. Rebuild by Design is an innovative and collaboration driven model that combines research and design to make an area more resilient.

Resilient thinking involves seven qualities that collectively contribute to a resilient city. These qualities are listed in the following table.

The seven Resilience qualities

We aim to link the solutions we seek in BoTu as much as possible to these core qualities. By this we mean that if a solution satisfies multiple qualities the higher the solution will score. Within the seven qualities we attach the greatest value to inclusiveness and integrality.


Bring people, systems and institutions together.


Ensure shared ownership, involve people, do not exclude anyone and establish a collective decision-making process.

Ability to reflect

Use past experiences to act sensibly, now and in the near future.

Reserve capacity

Deliberately incorporate additional space for reactions, reserve capacity and the ability to cope with disruption.


Make sure multiple solutions come into play and endure.


Produce well-thought-out and manageable systems that emerge improved from sudden disruptions and prolonged pressure.


Apply alternative strategies in changing circumstances.