M4H harbour area transformation in Rotterdam

M4H harbour area transformation in Rotterdam

The municipality of Rotterdam and the Rotterdam Port Authority want to develop M4H (Merwe-Vierhavens, a 100 years old harbour area in the City of Rotterdam, a brownfield area with heavily polluted soil) into an innovative living-work environment, optimally equipped for innovative manufacturing industry and with a mix of working, residential, culture, catering, sports and education. An energetic district with an impact on both the city and the port.

In 2017, the municipality and the Port Authority formulated five objectives for M4H:

1) Attracting and facilitating innovative activity (with the accent on manufacturing industry) and the associated supporting businesses, from start-up to corporate.

2) Creating employment for the full spectrum of the population of the Rotterdam region.

3) Creating an open innovation environment with a varied mix of businesses and educational and knowledge institutions.

4) Realising an urban living environment on and around the Merwe piers.

5) Developing the area as a testing ground and showcase for the circular future of the city and port.

The project's end in projected to be in 2030. 

The brownfield regeneration project aims to provide attractive business environment for innovative manufacturing industry as well as educational and cultural facilities. Housing is also an integral part of the programme to secure that those who will work here could live here as well. The development strongly focuses on public spaces and environment: a green structure of fields and parks provide the optimal links between the waterfront and those neighbourhoods further away.

Smart mobility is also of crucial importance within the project: the newly developed infrastructure encourages people to use bicycles or public transport instead of their own cars. Important for this are well designed and organised routes from the Marconiplein (the ‘last mile’ from the main junction for metro, tram and bus). M4H will have an intricate network for cyclists and pedestrians and good connections for water transport. Parking takes place at a number of dedicated ‘mobility hubs’, where shared cars and other forms of transport for shared use can also be found. Street parking is no longer possible.


Municipality of Rotterdam


Kees de Vette (Environmental Consultant for the City of Rotterdam)


Port Authority of Rotterdam