The book of Bordewijk, Character, means Rotterdam to me. The main figure develops thanks to the anger he has towards his father. Negative acts can make stronger…The bombing of Rotterdam was sad, but has made the city stronger and proud.

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 the only city in the Netherlands that can compeed with Paris and London. It has a global allure, I think.

The quality of Rotterdam lies in the atmosphere of no nonsense, working attitude and a drive to move on, in cultural, in artistic and also in historical sense.

I love the river and the harbour-related industrial buildings in Rotterdam.

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

The bad points of the city are the windy corners between the huge buildings.

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

The most important aspect of the culture for Rotterdam is the fact that there is not ‘one’ Rotterdam culture.

The old dutch culture of dockers doesn’t exist anymore. New cultures came to Rotterdam and enriched the palet in Rotterdam.

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

The book of Bordewijk, Character, means Rotterdam to me. The main figure develops thanks to the anger he has towards his father. Negative acts can make stronger…The bombing of Rotterdam was sad, but has made the city stronger and proud.

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

The exposition of Jean Tinguely in the Kunsthal.

It inspired my children to make some objects out of rubbish.

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

I think the re-using historical harbour-related buildings and areas for housing. It seems to be important that Rotterdam will stay a working city, because that is part of its strength.

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

The Rotterdam Climate Initiative has a great potential. When they got guts and glory, Rotterdam can be the guide to other cities how to combine economies and ecologies.

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

May be it is not really original, but I would bring people to Dudok, to eat the honest apple pie. The combination of business ánd happy living.

martje storm

Rotterdam week 2007

This article is part of Inspiring Cities Rotterdam week 2007. More about the event  here.

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