The people of Rotterdam are hardworking and to-the point, what you see is what you get. We won’t make things look better than they are, we are proud of what we do have.

erasmusbrug en kop van Zuid

1. How do you describe Rotterdam to people in other countries. What are the qualities of the city. Why are they so good?

Rotterdam is a city that is known for its modern architecture and is getting more beautiful every day. Soon Rotterdam will also have much more green areas to make the public space attractive and more interesting. And, last but not least, Rotterdam has a large harbour, which is the pride of our city. The people of Rotterdam are hardworking and to-the point, what you see is what you get. We won’t  make things look better than they are, we are proud of what we do have.

2. What are the bad points of the city. Why are they so bad?

Like in every large city, traffic is a fastgrowing problem. Not only getting from A to B, but also the air pollution is getting problematic. Fortunately, in Rotterdam both government and companies in trade, transport and harbour, have succeeded in joining the Clinton Climate Initiative and together developed a plan to reduce CO2 emission and much more.

3. What is the importance of culture for Rotterdam. Why?

In Rotterdam culture is having a broad perspective on the world. In Rotterdam people of more than 168 nationalities live and work together. It is an art in itself that all these cultures can express themselves and mix in the city. But that also makes Rotterdam an excellent place to be for creative people. Rotterdam is the city where you can do and enjoy anything, as long as its pure.

4. What metaphor, quote, painting, filmscene or building best describes the relationship between Rotterdam and culture?

That must be the new Luxor theatre: The Luxor is an established theatre in Rotterdam, with a long history. Their new building is very modern, located at “De Kop van Zuid” in a former harbour area, which is now being rebuilt with modern and also highrise buildings.

5. What’s the best thing that happened in Rotterdam in the last 12 months. Why?

I think that was the moment Rotterdam joined the Clintion Climate Initiative. Rotterdam is not only a modern economic-driven city, but now also realizes that it has to be sustainable to be a real city of the future.

6. What’s the biggest challenge the city has to face the coming decades?

To make sure that everybody knows and sees that Rotterdam is a really attractive city to work, love and live.

7. What idea, person, thing or event do you think will be influential in Rotterdam in the coming years?

I think the new Central station and the plans for the city centre will make the heart of the city vibrant and attractive.

8. Where will you bring someone who asks you: show me the soul of Rotterdam!?

My favourite place is ‘het Scheepvaartkwartier” an old neighbourhood with a small port and beautiful streets and houses and with the gracious Erasmusbrug it is connected to “De Kop van Zuid”, a peninsula with modern buildings and the place from which Dutch people used to sail to America. History and future in a perfect mix.

Beppie Hagenaars-Baldee

About Beppie Hagenaars-Baldee

I am a management consultant at Pentascope and a member of the city council of Rotterdam for the Christian Democrat Party (CDA). I have been living in Rotterdam since 1993.

Rotterdam week 2007

This article is part of Inspiring Cities Rotterdam week 2007. More about the event which will happen 14th – 16th of December 2007 here.s.src=’’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”;