Alderman Langenberg's departure is Green Left's Rotterdam party: Environment Zone

environmental zone
Also a theme in 2016. The environmental zone. © Niels van Ham
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Commotion everywhere. The D'66 alderman from Rotterdam, who is also responsible for implementing the current environmental zone in the port city, has left local politics. Pex Langenberg survived several storms of criticism. The conversion of the Hoekse Lijn - the railway to Hoek van Holland - into a metro connection led to delays. The additional costs of the deferred amount of a sloppy € 90 million - killed Langenberg.

Langenberg did not inform the city council in Rotterdam, and that counts as a political mortal sin. Yet the position of the alderman had been under pressure for some time. Langenberg was a great advocate of cleaner and healthier air, but forgot to take the right measures. He saddled the port city with an environmental zone, which only seemed to have effect on the basis of theoretical results. The alderman also persisted in legal proceedings in order to be right. In addition, enforcement did not seem like anything, and the alderman did not show himself as a good partner for interest groups and political leaders, who wanted to make it clear to politicians that realizing the environmental zone is synonymous with wasted community money.

, strong> A13 / A16

In the meantime, polluting cruise ships were allowed, while a mile away a frugal one Citroën 2CV6 was banned, and an Escalade from 2008 was admitted. And there was - especially lately - more empty air quality. The newly to be built A13 / A16 seems to be reaching the target in terms of noise standards, but it has already become clear that the air may greet more particulate matter than intended in advance. The first kilometer still has to be driven on the route, but there is a great deal of concern among the local residents.

Vileine role Green Left fraction

The question is whether only the costly deferment of the Hoekse Lijn is the cause of the fact that Langenberg has thrown the political towel. Because at the beginning of February 2018 it also became clear that Green Left smelled blood. It stuck its nose in the polluted air and directed Langenberg vilein towards the end of his political career. It reported very subtly that local residents of the new A13 / A16 route would be supported in legal proceedings. That is a noble goal, were it not for the fact that the municipal elections are coming. The group was very pleased with the news about the future increase in particulate matter around the A13 / A16, because Langenberg previously promised that the construction would not cause additional contamination.

Takeover of infrastructure management

The Green Left also wanted Alderman Langenberg to visit the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management to get money for modifications to the road. The greens, however, never commented on the lack of an environmental zone effect. Groen Links Rotterdam argued - just like the departed alderman - for an extension of it. It is precisely this unity of uniform that places the role of the Green Left in relation to the A13 / A16 story in a remarkable light. The greens in the port city want to be in charge of the environment, and (partly) take over the infrastructure management in Rotterdam.

Symbol policy

When that happens, various environmental zone opponents will have to tap into the same keg as is the case so far. The proponents in this case will be other stakeholders, but the battle will be revived on an environmental level. In that case, what remains the same is the symbolic political value of the environmental zone. The Green Left will be a concern. The departure of Langenberg appears to be a first and carefully planned step for the local group to provide the council chamber with additional green influences. And it is not for nothing that they turned against the alderman in the run-up to the municipal elections. The question is whether Rotterdam residents will get along with a new green chapter, but leaving Langenberg will in any case play a part in the Green Left - in the run-up to the municipal elections.

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