Rotterdam Pop Up City Lab: Politics and the City

Identifying the reasons why young people do not feel stimulated to vote during the municipal elections.

Essential to a democratic country is the right to elected and to vote. In the Netherlands we have several rounds of elections, the national elections and the municipal elections being the most important. According to the Dutch bureau of statistics (CBS), in 2019 just 40% of the youth between 15 t0 18 is interested in politics. And while that number goes up once these youths are allowed to vote (44% in age groups 18-25) it is still a very low number compared to the population between 55 and 65 years (retrieved from:

On March 16th all Dutch residents that are entitled to vote can exercise their right to vote for their local representatives. From prior experiences and the data collected by the CBS, we can be sure of a few things, (1) that response rates of municipal elections are lower than those for government elections, (2) the numbers are even lower among young people. But why are young people not engaged? And why are they not visiting the voting booths to exercise a human right so many have fought for?  

During our pop-up city lab, we want to have a dialogue regarding this topic and establish what the reasons are young people do not vote. What is keeping them from participating in the elections? Is there a reason they do not feel included or represented? 


Wednesday 23 March 2022 from 18.00 - 21.00 hours

Who ?

Total participants: approx. 30 persons (young people from the neighborhood, students, politicians and university staff)


The Hefhouse, Nassaukade 31, 3071 JL Rotterdam


Welcome, drinks, food and introduction in the environment 

18:00  start discussion and introduction to small groups  

18:30 - 21.00 – identifying the problem by empathizing with the local youth.  

This Pop-up City Lab is organised in collaboration with ErasmusX: a highly and diversely skilled team from the Erasmus University Rotterdam with a knack for (educational) disruptive innovation.

Would you like to join our Pop-up City Lab?  Please register below.

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