“The health of a city is measured by the well-being of its most vulnerable residents.”

Willemijn Sneap – Investigative journalist Healthy City

Willemijn Snipp conducts research on social topics such as climate and healthcare in Rotterdam. She writes about abuses such as youth homelessness, illegal logging, and everything in between. Vers Beton is the author of “Healthy City.”

Photo: Willem de Kamm

Vers Beton now delves deeper into the city, with four permanent investigative journalists all working on their own topic. They will introduce themselves to you in the coming weeks.

When you think of health, you quickly think of illness. To hospitals, home care or nursing that can make people healthy again. But for me, a healthy city is not just a city where citizens find a good hospital, no, a healthy city is first and foremost an environment where you do not get sick. Where you can live together healthily. The city that has correct environmental system.

For example, this is a city with a lot of green spaces, which is close and accessible to every resident. Because trees provide clean air, help prevent floods and heat stress and contribute to improving mental health. A green city also requires a fair and rapid energy transition, for a healthy future for all Rotterdam residents.

Government of man

But it is also a city where everyone can work safely and get care and help if that is not temporarily possible. Where no one spends a night on the street, whether you have “rights” or not, whether you have the right papers or not. Where you can turn to a humane, accessible government that you can trust because it trusts you too.

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It is not easy to measure the health of a city in (economic) numbers. But how are the most vulnerable populations? Rotterdam still has a lot to gain there. Because although topics such as the energy transition, labor migration or social assistance are national, it is precisely the area of ​​local politics that makes a big difference for the people of Rotterdam.

Social topics

I investigate how healthy Rotterdam's ecosystem is, and where it can be improved in the areas of social welfare, care and accessibility, but also in the areas of tree policy, biodiversity and quality of life.

She has previously done so with files on the rise in homelessness among young people, why Rotterdam doesn't reimburse assistance dogs for PTSD, and how Rotterdam residents are disadvantaged if they live with someone who doesn't have the right papers. Or files on the vulnerabilities of temporary works sites such as Keilewerf and the battle for the huge trees next to Central Station.

Would you like to know what's happening in Rotterdam in the field of climate, healthcare, green spaces or other social topics? Sign up for the Vers Beton weekly newsletter to follow my stories.

Are you committed to a healthy city in one of these areas, or do you have information about the possibility of its misuse? Then let me know what I should delve into and send me an email [email protected].

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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