Rotterdam's Resilience in times of Corona

The COVID-19 pandemic has a major impact on the city of Rotterdam. The physical and mental health and economic situation of many Rotterdammers (and citizens worldwide) is under pressure. At the request of the City of Rotterdam, Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens (VCC) contributes academic insights and advice on how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis in a resilient manner. 

Summary of policy briefs

Over the past few months, VCC researchers have studied the question: How can Rotterdam emerge stronger from this crisis? Literature studies have been carried out, reflections have been made on the intended policy approaches of the municipality of Rotterdam and policy letters have been written with perspectives for action. The most important findings and recommendations have been compiled in a summary of policy briefs. In the summary, the following five research questions are central. The letter can be downloaded from the web page of VCC.

Research Questions

  1. What conditions determine how Rotterdam can emerge faster and ultimately stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic?
  2. What is resilience and how can we make it manageable for the COVID-19 crisis?
  3. What are conditions for a resilient society?
  4. How can the local government make societies more resilient?
  5. How do we make (vulnerable) people more resilient?

Vital Cities and Citizens

With the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens, Erasmus University Rotterdam wants to help improve the quality of life in cities. In vital cities, the population can achieve their life goals through education, useful work and participation in public life. The vital city is a platform for creativity and diversity, a safe meeting place for different social groups. The researchers involved focus on one of the four sub-themes:

•    Inclusive Cities and Diversity
•    Resilient Cities and People
•    Smart Cities and Communities 
•    Sustainable and Just Cities

VCC is a collaboration between Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB), Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) and International Institute of Social Studies (ISS).


Daniela Ochoa Peralta, Msc


Dr. Jan Fransen


Dr. Michael Duijn

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