Vice President of a Rotterdam Municipality, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek, 41.000 inhabitants live in Rotterdam since 1966, loves this town.
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 many Villages, parochial and global in one, proud, down to earth, modern, lively, different, real, young, diverse, multi cultural, unusual, greener than one expects. The river and the sea. .Labour, working class, harbours, trade and commerce are the traditional qualities of Rotterdam, like a city as Glasgow, or Liverpool.
2 What are the bad points of the city. Why are they so bad?
Not beautifull in the touristic way, not very cosy, the attractions and its beauties are hidden, scattered over the town.
3 What is the importance of culture for Rotterdam. Why?
The cultural revitalization of the town in the last two decades has given the town a lot of new energy, new attractivity to people from abroad, a new and much better image, and o lot of fun for a lot of its inhabitants, although a lot of its inhabitants doesn’t consume to much of all the new cultural stuff. Rotterdam is not only down to earth anymore, has appeal now.
4 What metaphor, quote, painting, filmscene or building best describes the relationship between Rotterdam and culture?
Maybe the Erasmus Bridge shows most of the new appeal of Rotterdam, I love this bridge, it’s great and wonderful.
Rotterdam is niet te filmen, Rotterdam is veel te echt.
And the song Rotterdam, by Frederique Spigt
5 What’s the best thing that happened in Rotterdam in the last 12 months. Why?
The resolution by the town council (8th November) that there will be a scientific study done to the history of the formerly independent villages around Rotterdam, the history of what are now the suburbs of Rotterdam, like Hillegersberg, IJsselmonde, Pernis, Charlois, etc. has been neglected for a long time but now a study will be ventured. Rotterdam is may Villages
6 What’s the biggest challenge the city has to face the coming decades?
The people of this town, old and young, have to find their destiny in life, and so live in peace with God and their neighbours.
7 What idea, person, thing or event do you think will be influential in Rotterdam in the coming years?
The GreenYear 2008
European YouthCapital 2009
The new mayor that will start in january 2009
8 Where will you bring someone who asks you: show me the soul of Rotterdam!?
The Erasmusbridge and the many formerly independent villages.
Rotterdam week 2007
This article is part of Inspiring Cities Rotterdam Week 2007. More about the event which will happen 14th-16th December 2007 here.}