Pop-up store ‘Stroop’ sells treacle waffles (Dutch: stroopwafels) that are baked by local residents. The network of entrepreneurs to which the shop belongs plays an important role in filling vacant property, to name one example. This is one of the projects supported by the Delfshaven Coöperatie: a community initiative that forms a crucial link in Rotterdam’s network of local residents, NGOs and the City of Rotterdam.
Contributing ideas as well as active participation
A telling example of the way the Delfshaven Coöperatie works is the close cooperation between local residents and housing association Havensteder in the renovation of homes. Residents were invited to contribute ideas and, more importantly, to participate actively in the renovation project, for example by lending a hand in demolition, repair and painting activities.
Park 1943 is another illustrative example of the type of area development the Delfshaven Coöperatie supports. Residents, represented in the Park council, are actively involved in the realization of water storage facilities, green spaces, and renovation activities.
Only fifteen to twenty years ago, joint initiatives of residents, NGOs and corporations were a mere mirage, a Fata Morgana. The Delfshaven Coöperatie understands that it is particularly this direct cooperation and these short lines that lead to successful projects.
Start-up and continuity
Listed high on the agenda of the Delfshaven Coöperatie alliance, which is supported by the municipality, Havensteder and Rabobank, is not only the start-up but, more importantly, also the continuity of the projects. As funds flows at community level start to generate profits, people will start to feel a sense of ownership, involvement, and resilience that they will retain even when financial incentives run out at some point in time.