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Becoming a Rotterdammer

A digital action research to help newcomers participate in Rotterdam.

Contact: Roel Lutkenhaus, PI,

What does it mean for a newcomer 'to thrive'? Is it having a home, a meaningful job, lots of friends? Academic literature suggests that so-called 'belongingness' is a crucial predictor for all of these things. When newcomers feel like they belong in a city, they will feel more at home and their well-being and participation will increase.


With Becoming a Rotterdammer, we have therefore looked for newcomers who score high in belongingness. They may have found strategies that help them feel at home more quickly, perhaps even unknowingly, and other newcomers can learn from these strategies.

Rotterdam (NL)

Jan 2023 to Dec 2023

Positive deviants, social media, newcomers, bottom-up innovation, action research.

Outcomes of this Project

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Research Report

Becoming a Rotterdammer: A digital action research to help newcomers participate in Rotterdam

A City Lab 010 project by New Momentum, Stichting Mano and the Erasmus University

Image by Sincerely Media

Research Article

Becoming a Rotterdammer. A digital action research to help newcomers participate in Rotterdam.

In preparation

Key Insights


Diverse backgrounds understanding: Recognize the varied cultural and societal backgrounds of newcomers for effective guidance.


Co-Design workshops: Workshops focused on co- creating solutions and strategies for communicating positive deviant behaviors to support newcomers in feeling at home in Rotterdam, utilizing various media platforms.


Implementation of community-support initiative: This initiative should prioritize providing comprehensive information for female newcomers on educational opportunities and employment prospects. By facilitating access to such vital resources and networks, this initiative can significantly contribute to the successful integration and empowerment of women newcomers in Rotterdam.


New Momentum, Stichting Mano and Erasmus University Rotterdam


Roel Lutkenhaus (PI - New Momentum - social media consultancy)

Adel Al Baghdadi (Stichting Mano)

Lieke Galbraith (Stichting Mano)

Amanda Alencar (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

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