Rotterdam, in the south of the Netherlands, is the country’s second largest city and one of the largest ports in the world. It is a young and diverse city with about 620,000 inhabitants, including over 170 nationalities. It is an entrepreneurial city, making it attractive for national and international business. Mainly thanks to its seaport, Rotterdam is a cornerstone of the Dutch economy.
Rotterdam is also a centre of education with excellent universities, including the Erasmus, a renowned university hospital and the Willem de Kooning Academy art school. The city suffered considerable damage during Wold War II, resulting in the rebuilding of most of the centre, and has developed a reputation for using cutting-edge, high-rise architecture both for residential and commercial buildings. This is continuing today in a wealth of new projects. Rotterdam still has a historic harbour area in its port. The city has a rich cultural life of museums and performing arts that reflect the ethnic diversity of its inhabitants.
Like many cities, Rotterdam has shifted from an industrial to a service-based economy, focusing on logistics, transport and finance. Strong sectors are health, logistics and chemicals. As the city has an unemployment rate of 8.5%—double the national level and largely influenced by unskilled workers—it is trying to promote a more knowledge-based local economy. The aim is to attract and retain more skilled and highly-educated workers to strengthen its social structure and develop a durable economic basis. There is a need to revitalise the reconstructed city centre and former working-class neighbourhoods in the suburbs.
Rotterdam’s journey from URBACT to Urban Innovative Actions and beyond – the story of a city “in love with Europe”
With a climate change denier in the Whitehouse, how can our cities maintain momentum towards a low carbon future?