Start Now

Rotterdam, NL

Stimuleringsfonds voor Architectuur and Municipality of Rotterdam


The slowdown of the economy and construction industry results in a physical and figurative space for the testing of new development strategies, where small scale projects rooted in the development of local economy, culture and public space have the potential to play a significant role in providing an alternative means of development.


Start Now is a research project into how an experimental method of city making rooted in the local can be initiated today to contribute to the development of the public space network of tomorrow.


The area of focus is Rotterdam Vierhavens where over the next 30 years the large-scale industry will be moved out and a large number of new dwellings and commercial space will be added. The area is located just on the edge of the city center, but is in no way psychologically or programmatically an integral part of the city. However, in between the large industrial sites pioneers and entrepreneurs involved in cultural production have discovered the place and are starting to take over the monumental harbour buildings.


Paul Scales researched how the transition of the now problematic public space could be started today, by focusing on the gap in between top-down planning and bottom-up initiatives of local pioneers.