About BlueCity

abderrahim bouna stadsimker in bluecity

BlueCity is an international icon of circular economy, a national platform for circular entrepreneurs, and a very visible local accelerator that empowers circular entrepreneurs and inspires citizens.

Our goal? To provide start-ups and scale-ups with access to circular resources, knowledge and talent, to turn ideas into action and ultimately: to help sustainable entrepreneurs to grow from intention to impact. Want to learn more? Take a virtual walk through our 12.000 m2 circular city!

About our building

We are situated in former subtropical swimming oasis Tropicana, a well known iconic building that has sadly lost its function and grandness. To tear it down would be a shame, not only for the building itself but also for all the memories it entails. That is why innovative, sustainable and circular entrepreneurs are now settling down between slides and hot tubs to give new meaning, function and value to 12.000 square meters of deserted  swimming pool. Superuse Studios and COUP are transforming the building as circular as possible, re-using old elements and materials both from within the swimming pool as from other abandoned buildings, using Oogstkaart.

BlueCity: Surfing the new EconomyStart-Up-Academy

BlueCity is a pool of possibilities. In this playground for circular entrepreneurs brains, guts, vision and fun go together. We serve our coffee with a dose of radical disruption while we head towards an economy in which waste does not exist. BlueCity serves as a breeding ground for innovative companies linking their waste-streams. Inside our ecosystem of social entrepreneurs and radical disruptors waste streams are valuable building blocks; the output of one is the input for the other. This way we create a much needed and inspiring example for the circular economy.

BlueCity: Vision

The biggest problem in the transition to circular economy: it doesn’t scale – or at least not quick enough. By accelerating 30+ innovative entrepreneurs, connecting them to big corporations and working with corporate partners in Living Labs, BlueCity shows on a local level that it is possible to change AND what the counterforces are, e.g. legally and fiscally. This gives invaluable insights on the problems of transition on a bigger, (inter)national scale. In this way we accelerate the international transition through local entrepreneurship.*


BlueCity is an independent platform for the city of Rotterdam, its entrepreneurs and its inhabitants. Our goal: to stimulate entrepreneurship and to contribute to the innovative culture in Rotterdam. By programming and doing, BlueCity puts circular themes on the agenda and connects small scale initiatives to the citizens of Rotterdam as well as to big corporations.

BlueCity is also partner in two European projects: Plastic Twist, which aims to revalue recycled plastic, using blockchain technology. And Wastefew (Waste Food-Energy-Water Urban Living Labs) which aims to map and substantially reduce waste in the food-energy-water nexus in cities across three Europe, Africa, and South America. 

Innovation through inspiration

Last but not least: by welcoming 1500+ people each month in our exemplary circular city, we structurally plant seeds for innovation. Innovation comes from inspiration.

Circular programming

Hub for entrepreneurs

Start ups and scale ups

Challenging students and corporates alike

How blue is BlueCity

At BlueCity we are building a world without waste. BlueCity is named BlueCity because we base our activities mostly on the principles of the blue economy: we work with local products, believe in cooperation instead of competition, and we create endless circles of value. We learn from nature. In nature there is no waste. Output for one is input for the other. We not only develop networks, we link them together towards an interwoven and unbreakable ecosystem. In everything we do, we keep our goals in mind: to continually innovate, create jobs, reduce waste by seeing waste as a valuable resource and building social capital without exhausting the environment. This is the new economy..

The blue reality

Is the new economy an illusion? No, it isn’t. The new economy is happening as we speak. The entrepreneurs located in BlueCity all connect their waste-streams in different ways.  The coffee-waste that is produced by Aloha Bar-Restaurant serves as nutritious soil for the mushrooms of RotterZwam and in BlueCity Lab mycelium is used to develop packaging materials. Of course, to complete this perfect circle, you will ultimately find the mushrooms that grew on the coffee waste of Aloha on the menu of the same restaurant.

And there are more examples! Fruit waste from the Port of Rotterdam is collected by Fruitleather and turned into strong leather like material that can be used for bags and books. Slow fashion label KEES recycles car- and bicycle tires into unique accessories and does this together with people who have a distance to the labour market. Verdraaid Goed turns corporate waste streams into consumer products. These people can then move onto a paid job in or outside BlueCity. The worms in the basement process paper and natural waste. And this is only the beginning…

Welcome to BlueCity

Want to learn more about BlueCity?


Our English website will be up as soon as possible, promised. Until then, please read the articles on these BlueCitizens: