Nieuwe Werk and Dijkzigt on the map

Nieuwe Werk and Dijkzigt on the map




Students: Sharon Ngu-Nji / Rowena Boelman / Tamara Allen / Mirza Behram / Robin Belder

Learning coach: Christian Mukelenge

In the months of March to May, students in the Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab Rotterdam, in collaboration with Rotterdam Make It Happen, tackled the following question: ”What innovations / concepts / experiences could help to involve residents (from certain neighbourhoods) in international hybrid events (online/offline) such as the Eurovision Song Contest?” In this blog series, the four student groups give an insight into their research process and answer the main question for the neighbourhood they have been doing their studies. The series is concluded with a blog by lab lead Ko Koens who reflects on the different concepts.

Which innovations/concepts/experiences could help to involve residents aged 15-25 from Nieuwe Werk and Dijkzigt in international hybrid events (online/offline) such as the Eurovision Song Contest? This is the big question Urban City Events spent eight weeks trying to answer. Through the method of Design Thinking, research has been done and concepts have been developed during the four climbs. The partner who gave us this question is Rotterdam Make It Happen. Make It Happen is the joint city marketing pay-off that was created at the end of 2014 from the collaboration between the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Municipality of Rotterdam, Rotterdam Partners, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam Topsport and Rotterdam Festivals.

Design Thinking consists of the following 4 climbs; Discover (1 week), Define (2 weeks), Develop (1 week) and Deliver (2 weeks). In climb 1 the assignment was explained and desk and field research was done. For the field research Urban City Events went to Nieuwe Werk and Dijkzigt to explore the neighbourhoods, pictures were taken of particularities. Eventually the findings were presented to the client during the first jam session.

In climb 2 the focus was on framing the issue. Field research was again done, a number of things were asked of the target group so that their wishes and needs could be ascertained. Three concepts emerged from this, partly by using theory. We looked at trends and developments, but especially at what an innovative concept exactly means. This climb lasted two weeks and an extra self-study week.

The third climb went very quickly, it lasted only a week. During the second jam session, the cooperation partner had given feedback on the concepts, with this feedback the three concepts were changed to two concepts and these were also worked out in more detail. The two concepts will be explained later in this article. Finally, prototypes were created from these concepts.

In the last climb, the prototypes were tested on the target group, each team member had interviewed two or three people from the target group. With the results of the interviews, the prototypes were adjusted and presented to partner Rotterdam Make It Happen during the final jam session.

The first concept is The Happen Club. The Happen Club will be a meeting place for 15 to 25-year-olds to get involved in (international) events. The Happen Club will be a collaboration between Rotterdam Make It Happen and cafés in Nieuwe Werk and Dijkzigt (and other places in the city centre). By means of The Happen Club, visitors will be able to watch the livestreams of events in cafés. The livestreams of the events can be followed on several large screens in the café/restaurant itself. The menu in the café/restaurant will be partly or fully adjusted to suit the event taking place. During The Happen Club, cafés and restaurants will offer a customised three-course menu where visitors can choose from different starters, main courses and desserts for a fixed price. The Happen Club will be promoted on the Instagram of Rotterdam Make It Happen.

The Showcase Map is an event map that will be placed on the Rotterdam Make It Happen website. Through the map, the target group can see exactly which events take place in the neighbourhood, when these events take place and a short description of the event. The Showcase Map will be used for both larger and smaller events. The Happen Club will also be featured on the Showcase Map. To make the Showcase Map more unique, visitors of the Showcase Map will be able to tick their interests to find events in Rotterdam that match their interests.

With these concepts, we solved the problem of the cooperation partner: Rotterdam Make It Happen. The interviews conducted during the Discover and Define phase revealed that one problem of the target group is that they would like to see more physical meeting places in Nieuwe Werk and Dijkzigt. This is also mainly due to the influence of the coronavirus in society. The concept of The Happen Club solves this problem by allowing the target group to meet online at various places. Another problem they encounter is that they do not know where to find all the events taking place in their neighbourhood at all. With the showcase map they can find all events in one place and they can use different tools to find information about events that take place in their neighbourhood. Urban City Events is pleased with the end result and looks back with pleasure on Creative Future.