Rotterdam Convening VDM-IFHP

Reporting back

24 juni 2024

We are delighted to announce the successful conclusion of the Rotterdam Convening, which took place on the 7th and 8th of June 2024. This event, part of Rotterdam Architecture Month, was designed to facilitate knowledge exchange and deepen the collaboration between the International Federation of Housing and Planning (IFHP) and Vereniging Deltametropool (VDM).

Over the past twelve months, IFHP and VDM have diligently fostered a strong collaboration. Following a Convening in London in October 2023, which resulted in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, and a successful Network of Networks brainstorming session in April 2024, both organizations took the next step in connecting their members through this highly impactful event.



The Rotterdam Convening was a resounding success, marked by rich discussions and valuable insights. On June 7th, the program included a joint board meeting, a keynote session with notable speakers, and networking opportunities, followed by an expert-led walk and talk on housing, finance and climate adaptive strategies in Rijnhaven. The day concluded with a network drink. On June 8th, participants engaged in a guided site visit at Museumpark, culminating in a concluding session at the Nieuwe Instituut.


Day 1: Key discussions and insights

Alternative view on housing: Presentation by Sanne van Manen. Sanne van Manen (Platvorm Woonopgave) emphasized the significance of alternative perspectives on housing, stressing the need for innovative approaches and collaborations in future endeavors. The discussion highlighted the crucial role of maintaining collaboration with experts like Sanne for identifying and engaging with similar experts in the future.

Walk and talk in Rijnhaven: Housing, Planning, and Climate Adaptive Strategies: Local experts including Esther Agricola and Maurice Boumans shared insights on the redevelopment of Rijnhaven.

  • Balancing various stakeholder interests in urban planning.
  • Integrating social housing amidst private developments.
  • Addressing sustainability challenges and energy management for new urban areas.
  • Drawing lessons from Copenhagen’s approach to urban transformation.

Day 2: Input and reflections

Visit to Museumpark led by architect Mariia Kapitonova: Participants explored the historical development of the Museumpark area since the early 20th century under the guidance of architect Mariia Kapitonova. Discussions focused on maintaining green areas as public spaces and enhancing their attractiveness to urban dwellers.



The Rotterdam Convening was a significant milestone in the ongoing collaboration between IFHP and VDM. The event not only facilitated meaningful knowledge exchange but also strengthened the foundation for future initiatives. We are excited about the path ahead and are committed to leveraging these insights to drive impactful change in urban planning and housing. The continued involvement and dedication from our members and network are instrumental to achieving our shared goals. Thank you for your contributions and commitment to VDM-IFHP’s collaboration. We encourage you and all of members and network to be a part of the process and collaborate with us to build an array of focused content that is crucial to address as IFHP-VDM collaboration.


Moving forward together

1. Network of Networks initiative: Establish a framework for collaboration with other networks and partners. Plan and execute future online events, lectures, or articles to foster continuous discussions and engagement. Strengthening networks and engaging diverse expertise.

2. Innovation in housing: Pursuing alternative models and integrating new perspectives of housing were highlighted, underscoring the need for innovative approaches and collaborations with our members and expanding the network.

3. Sustainable urban development: Emphasising climate adaptive strategies and community integration. What is affordability (affordable housing) from the community perspective? Balancing various stakeholder interests in urban planning in a collaborative framework that ensures equitable participation and addresses diverse needs, fostering inclusive and resilient urban environments.

4. Content based priorities: Emphasized the importance of a clear agenda and a content-driven program combining housing and planning.

  • Balancing various stakeholder interests in urban planning.
  • Integrating social housing amidst private developments.
  • Sustainability challenges and energy management for new urban areas.
  • Definition comparisons of affordable housing and social housing across the globe.
  • Learning from local initiatives and impartial analysis.
  • Focus of social values and ethical planning instruments.

5. Mission statement: A sharp agenda or a mission statement will provide a base for contacting new members and outreach to the other networks. This should also address the fundaments of garden city movement and its transition at the present with the social values.

6. Collaboration content: Develop and distribute content related to the role of planning in tackling actual challenges, alternative ownership models and democratic participation. Utilize case studies from recent conferences and research.

7. Embrace the change: The business model of IFHP is changing. The collaboration with VDM and the strategic planning for the future creates opportunity to connect with new members and reconnect with the existing members. This timeline should be focused on engaging with the members and the network in an essence of co-creating the agenda together.

8. Event planning: Regularity in the events is necessary without longer gaps to keep the momentum of the transition and the collaboration between IFHP-VDM. A series of small-scale (online) lectures from September onward is being proposed.

9. Main questions to be addressed

  • How to share international experiences (challenges + opportunities) in planning?
  • How to share learnings on co-creating places / public participation?
  • How can IFHP own its heritage and articulate how modern concepts – from 15 minutes neighbourhoods to donut economics – are rooted in Garden City principles?
  • What are the practical outputs from the Network of Networks?


Future focus points

1. Affordable Housing and Alternative Ownership Models

2. Urban Planning and Climate Adaptive Strategies

3. Transregional and International Collaboration and the Role of Networks

4. Role of Planning in Tackling Current Challenges

5. Integration of Local Communities in Urban Development


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