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M4H - Development Strategy

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Collaboration: Stadshavens Rottterdam (Havenbedrijf Rotterdam n.v. & Rotterdam Municipality)

Rotterdams Collectief & Tapan Communicatie

ontwikkelstrategy rotterda masterplan vierhavens


From harbour site to creative makers district


Dutch Urban Solutions is pleased to announce the completion of the development strategy for the M4H district in Rotterdam. The strategic strategy allows for an organic development approach from harbour site to a creative makers district. This approach is ambitious and pioneering and at the same time allows for flexibility and adaptability over time.


The strategy was developed through a collaboration with Stadshavens Rotterdam (Municipality of Rotterdam & Havenbedrijf Rotterdam n.v.), Rotterdams Collectief and Tapan Communicatie.Dutch Urban Solutions was invited to join the team after the publication of M4H Urban Choreography which uses the M4H site as a case study for an organic urban redevelopment approach. Currently the strategy has been approved by the board of directors and is under review by the Rotterdam municipality.

ontwikkelstrategy m4h rotterdam


M4H : a testing ground for Rotterdam makers-city


Rotterdam wants to profile itself as an innovative ‘makers’ city, pioneering new developments in the fields of clean tech, medical and food. The Municipality of Rotterdam and the Port Authority see the M4H site as a testing ground for these new economic forces. The aim is to gradually transform the old docklands into new urban environments, where city and port are again re-connected. With the double objective off strengthening the economic structure of the city and port and creating attractive and high-quality living and working environments. The site should therefore also serve as a testing ground for a new urban development approach where innovative work/live solutions are promoted. The ambition is worked out in terms of economic, social and physical value adding objectives. We have established 3 development scenarios that form the basis of our overall ambition 2040+.

ontwikkelstrategy m4h rotterdam


Think big start small


Robust development framework

An important part of the adaptive strategy is working on a robust spatial framework. The framework outlines the desired spatial ambition of M4H district 2040+. It takes into account different development scenarios and an unpredictable development pace. The development strategy takes the ambitions of the city and the harbour as a starting point and aims to place the M4H site within this context.

Value adding building blocks

The development strategy describes several building blocks that provide direction to value adding developments in the M4H area. Central to the idea is that by fostering economic, social and physical value adding developments a new urban district is established with great importance to the city of Rotterdam.


Enhancing the identity of the place

Enhancing the image and identity of the place is central to our strategy. Through placemaking, branding and the establishment of urban anchors we aim to create a new urban district with a strong and unique urban identity.


Guiding on contracts

The site is a highly complex urban site with active economic activities many. We aim to foster new developments by steering on existing contracts and through issuing tailor-made new contracts for innovative users that fit the overall ambition of the makers district.

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The first steps have been undertaken


Currently several anchor projects have already established themselves in the area such as the Vertrekhal, Rotterdam Science Tower, Rotterdam Rooftop park, The Keilewerf (Makers Wharf) and UIt je Eigenstad (urban farming). In addition Five Focus areas are to form the first steppingstones in the development of the M4H area. Each of these focus areas will have their own unique urban identity and foster its own culture and economic activity.




Competition commissioned by Stadshavens Rotterdam


Project Dates



Service Provided

Advice & Consultancy on the Strategic Development Plan



Currently under review by the Rottterdam Municipality


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