Veerkracht Carnisse: a resilient neigbourhood

Veerkracht Carnisse (Resilient Carnisse) is a social innovation project to map and enhance the capacity for self-organization in the Carnisse district of Rotterdam. Bureau Frontlijn, Creatief Beheer, Rotterdam Vakmanstad (Skillcity) and DRIFT teamed up to develop an integrated approach to improve social ownership, local craftsmanship and cohesion between residents, institutions and other stakeholders.


The project arose when the four partners met in the districts of Rotterdam, and shared their critique on the regular city improvement projects: these projects were focused solely on economic outcomes, and lacked a more sustainable perspective that incorporated civic involvement. Vulnerable districts needed a different approach where the inhabitants and their needs were central to the process. A cooperation between the four partners, in one district to start with, offered room for experimenting and for delivering greater societal value.


Veerkracht Carnisse aimed to explore, strengthen and guide the self-organizing potential of the Carnisse district. By cooperating with the district, local organizations, inhabitants and district partners, the diverse stakeholders were empowered to create social, economic and ecological resilience. This resilience was employed by developing the necessary conditions to live together, collectivity and involvement in the public space, craftsmanship by education, and building a self-organizing network in the district.


DRIFT’s role in the project was to develop a guidance tool for self-organization. This tool aims to connect frontrunners who have an active role in the district, such as inhabitants, entrepreneurs, organizations, and policymakers.  These frontrunners work together to develop a common strategy, narrative, language, and to implement innovative experiments. DRIFT also evaluated the role and practices of the partners and of the project as a whole.  In the magazine published after its completion, the results of the projects are discussed; four transformed locations are lifted out to show how an integrated approach can revive a district.


Read more about the project and the results in the magazine Four years in Carnisse (Dutch).


Duration of the project

July 2011 until June 2015


Client(s)/ Commissioning party

Funded by Zuid Werkt! Nationaal programma Kwaliteitssprong Zuid and the European Unie in the context of the FP7-Incontext program



Bureau Frontlijn, Creatief Beheer, Rotterdam Vakmanstad



Derk Loorbach, Frank van Steenbergen, Julia Wittmayer