In 2006, a “Focus on Children” report deemed Rotterdam as the least attractive city to raise a family in The Netherlands.
As families began to move away from residential areas, the Child in the City program was born to reverse the trend and make Rotterdam more child-friendly.¬† By using a series of building blocks that focus on child-friendly housing, open public space, extended school activities and safe traffic routes, urban planners and architects were able to transform 11 neighborhoods with input from the families that live in the area. Through hard work and collaboration, Child in the City helped boost the local economy and bring people back to Rotterdam.
Semester at Sea students taking a sociology of childhood class during the Fall 2014 voyage had the opportunity to visit Rotterdam and learn how these child-friendly accommodations were implemented. Watch their experience here and follow along as five students evaluate local neighborhoods using the same building blocks.