Rotterdam Explained

Official Name:Rotterdam
Settlement Type:Municipality / City
Nickname:Rotown, Manhattan on the Meuse
Motto:Sterker door strijd (Stronger through effort)
Flag Size:120px
Mapsize:250px
Coordinates Region:NL
Subdivision Type:Country
Subdivision Name:Netherlands
Subdivision Type1:Province
Subdivision Name1:South Holland
Subdivision Type2:COROP
Subdivision Name2:Rotterdam
Parts Type:Boroughs
Parts:Boroughs
Leader Title:Mayor
Leader Name:Ahmed Aboutaleb
Leader Title1:Aldermen
Leader Name1:Travis Frey
Jeannette Baljeu
Hugo de Jonge
Hamit Karakus
Jantine Kriens
Antoinette Laan
Korrie Louwes
Unit Pref:Metric
Area Footnotes:[1]
Area Total Km2:319
Area Land Km2:206
Area Water Km2:113
Population As Of:1 November 2011
Population Footnotes:[2]
Population Total:616003
Population Density Km2:2850
Population Metro:1211523
Population Pussyurban:2100000
Population Blank1 Title:Randstad
Population Blank1:6659300
Population Blank1 Title:Demonym
Population Blank1:Rotterdammer
Timezone:CET
Utc Offset:+1
Timezone Dst:CEST
Utc Offset Dst:+2
Area Code:010
Latd:51
Latm:55
Lats:51
Latns:N
Longd:4
Longm:28
Longs:45
Longew:E
Website:www.rotterdam.nl

Rotterdam (; Dutch) is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam constructed in 1270 on the Rotte River, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. Its strategic location at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea and at the heart of a massive rail, road, air and inland waterway distribution system extending throughout Europe is the reason that Rotterdam is often called the "Gateway to Europe".

Located in the Province of South Holland, Rotterdam is found in the west of the Netherlands and at the south end of the Randstad. The population of the city proper was 616,003 in November 2011. The population of the greater Rotterdam area, called "Rotterdam-Rijnmond" or just "Rijnmond", is around 1.3 million people. Rotterdam is one of Europe's most vibrant, multicultural cities. The city is known for its university (Erasmus), its cutting-edge architecture, its lively cultural life, its striking riverside setting, its maritime heritage and the Rotterdam Blitz.

The largest port in Europe and still one of the busiest ports in the world, the port of Rotterdam was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, at which point it was surpassed by Shanghai. Rotterdam's commercial and strategic importance is based on its location near the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse), one of the channels in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse on the North Sea. These rivers lead directly into the centre of Europe, including the industrial Ruhr region. Rotterdam is currently bidding to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics. [3]

History

Settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte (or Rotta, as it was then known, from rot, 'muddy' and a, 'water', thus 'muddy water') dates from at least 900 CE. Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams, including Schielands Hoge Zeedijk ('Schieland’s High Sea Dike') along the northern banks of the present-day Nieuwe Maas. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat ('High Street').

On 7 July 1340, Count Willem IV of Holland granted city rights to Rotterdam, which then had approximately 2000 inhabitants. Around 1350 a shipping canal, the Rotterdamse Schie was completed, which provided Rotterdam access to the larger towns in the north, allowing it to become a local transshipment centre between Holland, England and Germany, and to urbanize.

The port of Rotterdam grew slowly but steadily into a port of importance, becoming the seat of one of the six 'chambers' of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company.

The greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The city and harbor started to expand on the south bank of the river. The Witte Huis or White House skyscraper,[4] inspired by American office buildings and built in 1898 in the French Chateau-style, is evidence of Rotterdam's rapid growth and success. When completed, it was the tallest office building in Europe, with a height of 45m (148feet).

During World War II, the German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Adolf Hitler had hoped to conquer the country in just one day, but his forces met unexpectedly fierce resistance. The Dutch army was finally forced to capitulate on 14 May 1940, following Hitler's bombing Rotterdam and threatening to bomb other Dutch cities. The heart of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe; 900 civilians were killed and 80,000 made homeless. The City Hall survived the bombing. Ossip Zadkine later strikingly captured the event with his statue De Verwoeste Stad ('The Destroyed City'). The statue stands near the Leuvehaven, not far from the Erasmusbrug in the centre of the city, on the north shore of the river Nieuwe Maas.

Rotterdam was gradually rebuilt from the 1950s through the 1970s. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'livable' city centre with a new skyline. In the 1990s, the Kop van Zuid was built on the south bank of the river as a new business centre.

Geography

'Rotterdam' is divided into a northern and a southern part by the river Nieuwe Maas, connected by (from west to east): the Beneluxtunnel; the Maastunnel; the Erasmusbrug ('Erasmus Bridge'); a subway tunnel; the Willemsspoortunnel ('Willems railway tunnel'); the Willemsbrug ('Willems Bridge'); the Koninginnebrug ('Queen's Bridge'); and the Van Brienenoordbrug ('Van Brienenoord Bridge'). The former railway lift bridge De Hef ('the Lift') is preserved as a monument in lifted position between the Noordereiland ('North Island') and the south of Rotterdam.

The city centre is located on the northern bank of the Nieuwe Maas, although recent urban development has extended the center to parts of southern Rotterdam known as De Kop van Zuid ('the Head of South', i.e. the northern part of southern Rotterdam). From its inland core, Rotterdam reaches the North Sea by a swathe of predominantly harbour area.

Built mostly behind dikes, large parts of the Rotterdam are below sea level. For instance, the Prins Alexander Polder in the northeast of Rotterdam extends 6 metres below sea level, or rather below Normal Amsterdams Peil (NAP) or 'Amsterdam Ordnance Datum'. The lowest point in the Netherlands (6.76m (22.18feet) below NAP) is situated just to the east of Rotterdam, in the municipality of Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel.

The Rotte river no longer joins the Nieuwe Maas directly. Since the early 1980s, when the construction of Rotterdam’s second subway line interfered with the Rotte’s course, its waters have been pumped through a pipe into the Nieuwe Maas via the Boerengat.

Conurbations

Rotterdam is located at the southern end of the Randstad. Having a population of 6.7 million, the Randstad is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in Europe (after Moscow, London, the Ruhr Area, Istanbul, and Paris).

The southern part of the Randstad (i.e. the part located in the Province of South Holland) is called the "South Wing" (Zuidvleugel). Including Leiden, The Hague, Zoetermeer, Delft, Vlaardingen, Schiedam, Capelle aan den IJssel, Spijkenisse and Dordrecht, the Zuidvleugel has a population of around 3 million.

At the heart of the Zuidvleugel are the conurbations surrounding The Hague and Rotterdam. They are close enough to be almost a single conurbation with a population of about 2.5 million. They share the Rotterdam The Hague Airport and a light rail system called RandstadRail. Consideration is being given to creating a Rotterdam-The Hague metropolitan area (metropoolregio).

Demographics

Overall the demographics differ per city area. According to a recent area analysis, the city centre has a singles population of 70%, between the age of 20 and 40, considerably more than other city areas. Also the city centre has a much larger population of people with higher education and higher income. Nonetheless, 80% of the homes are rented, not owned. City centre also has a higher percentage (51% vs 45%) of foreign-born citizens (Dutch: Allochtonen). The majority (70%) of shops are also run by foreign-born citizens.[5]

Historical population

Composition

On 1 January 2007 (source: Statistics Netherlands), the municipality covered an area of 319 km2 (206.44 km2 of which is land) with a population of 603,425. It is part of a larger metropolitan area with a total population (including Dordrecht and surrounding cities) of approximately 1.6 million. In 1965, the municipal population of Rotterdam reached its peak of 731,000, but by 1984 it had decreased to 555,000 as a result of suburbanization.

Rotterdam consists of 14 submunicipalities: Centrum ('Center'), Charlois (including Heijplaat), Delfshaven, Feijenoord, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek, Hoek van Holland, Hoogvliet, IJsselmonde, Kralingen-Crooswijk, Noord, Overschie, Prins Alexander (the most populous submunicipality with around 85,000 inhabitants), and Rozenburg. One other area, Pernis, does have an official submunicipality status since 3 march 2010.

The current size of the municipality of Rotterdam is the result of the amalgamation of the following former municipalities, some of which now are a submunicipality:

Ethnic make-up

Figures are from 2011:

319,265 (52.3%)

45,699 (7.5%)

37,476 (6.1%)

In the Netherlands, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations. They form a large part of Rotterdam's multi ethnic and multicultural diversity. 47.7% of the population are of non Dutch origins or have at least one parent born outside the country. There are 80,000 Muslims, constituting 13% of the population.[6] The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, is of Moroccan descent and is a practicing Muslim. The city is home to the largest Dutch Antillean community. The city also has its own China Town at the (West-) Kruiskade, close to the central railway station.

Commerce and industry

Rotterdam has always been one of the main centers of the shipping industry in the Netherlands. From the Rotterdam Chamber of the VOC, the worlds first multinational, established in 1602, to the merchant shipping leader Royal Nedlloyd established in 1970, with its corporate headquarters located in the landmark building the 'Willemswerf' in 1988. In 1997 Nedlloyd merged with the British shipping industry leader P&O forming the third largest merchant shipping company in the world. The anglo-Dutch P&O Nedlloyd was bought by the Danish giant corporation 'AP Moller Maersk' in 2005 and its Dutch operations are still head quartered in the 'Willemswerf'. Rotterdam is also home to the Dutch half of the anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever, and Mittal Steel Company N.V., subsidiary of Luxembourg-based Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel company.

The Erasmus University has a strong focus on research and education in management and economics. The University is located on the east side of the city and is surrounded by numerous multinational firms. On Brainpark I, Brainpark II, Brainpark III and Het Rivium are located offices of major multinationals. In the center of the city are the above-mentioned Unilever offices, but also Robeco, Fortis (including Mees Pierson and Stad Rotterdam Verzekeringen), ABN AMRO, ING (Nationale Nederlanden), the Rotterdam WTC, and the before mentioned Maersk Line who incorporates the Dutch merchant marine legacy.

The City of Rotterdam makes use of the services of semi-government companies Roteb (to take care of sanitation, waste management and assorted services) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority (to maintain the Port of Rotterdam). Both these companies were once municipal bodies, now they are autonomous entities, owned by the City.

Being the largest port and one of the largest cities of the country, Rotterdam attracts many seeking for a job, especially in the cheap labour segment. The city's unemployment rate is 8.5%, twice the national average.[7]

Ports

See main article: Port of Rotterdam.

Rotterdam has the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Meuse and Rhine providing excellent access to the hinterland upstream reaching to Basel, Switzerland and into France. In 2004 Shanghai took over as the world's busiest port. In 2006, Rotterdam was the world's seventh largest container port in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled.[8]

The port's main activities are petrochemical industries and general cargo handling and transshipment. The harbour functions as an important transit point for bulk materials and between the European continent and overseas. From Rotterdam goods are transported by ship, river barge, train or road. In 2007, the Betuweroute, a new fast freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, was completed.

In 1872, the Nieuwe Waterweg ('New Waterway') opened, a ship canal constructed to keep the city and port of Rotterdam accessible to seafaring vessels as the natural Meuse-Rhine channels silted up. The canal proper measures approximately 6.5km from the western tips of its protruding dams to the Maeslantkering ('Maeslant Barrier'). Many maps, however, include the Scheur as part of the Nieuwe Waterweg, leading to a length of approximately 19.5km.

In the first half of the twentieth century, the port's center of gravity shifted westward towards the North Sea. Covering 105km2, the port of Rotterdam now stretches over a distance of 40km. It consists of the city center's historic harbor area, including Delfshaven; the Lloydkwartier; the Maashaven/Rijnhaven/Feijenoord complex; the harbors around Nieuw-Mathenesse; Waalhaven; Vondelingenplaat; Eemhaven; Botlek; Europoort, situated along the Calandkanaal, Nieuwe Waterweg and Scheur (the latter two being continuations of the Nieuwe Maas); and the reclaimed Maasvlakte area, which projects into the North Sea.

The construction of a second Maasvlakte received initial political approval in 2004, but was stopped by the Raad van State (the Dutch Council of State, which advises the government and parliament on legislation and governance) in 2005, because the plans did not take enough account of environmental issues. On 10 October 2006, however, approval was acquired to start construction in 2008, aiming for the first ship to anchor in 2013.

Education

Rotterdam has one major university, the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), named after one of the city's famous former inhabitants, Desiderius Erasmus. The Woudestein campus houses (among others) Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. In Financial Times' 2005 rankings it placed 29th globally and 7th in Europe. In the 2009 rankings of Masters of Management, the school reached first place with the CEMS Master in Management and a tenth place with its RSM Master in Management.[9] The university is also home to Europe's largest student association, STAR Study Association Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the world's largest student association, AIESEC, has its international office in the city.

The Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam's main art school, which is part of the Hogeschool Rotterdam. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious art schools in the Netherlands and the number 1 in Advertising and Copywriting. Part of the Willem de Kooning Academy is the Piet Zwart Institute for postgraduate studies and research in Fine Art, Media Design and Retail Design. The Piet Zwart Institute boasts a selective roster of emerging international artists.

The Hoboken campus of EUR houses the Dijkzigt (general) hospital, the Sophia Hospital (for children) and the Medical Department of the University. These are known collectively as the Erasmus Medical Center, which is ranked third worldwide for medical research, behind the Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. The Erasmus Medical Center ranks as the top European institution in clinical medicine[10] according to the Times Higher Education rankings. As a combined medical treatment and research center it is particularly noted for its patient cohort studies in which large numbers of patients are followed for long periods of time.

There are also three Hogescholen (Universities of applied sciences) in Rotterdam. These schools award their students a professional Bachelor's degree and postgraduate or Master's degree. The three Hogescholen are Hogeschool Rotterdam, Hogeschool INHOLLAND and Hogeschool voor Muziek en Dans (uni for music and dance) which is also known as CodArts.

Culture

Alongside Porto, Rotterdam was European Capital of Culture in 2001. The city has its own orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, with its well-regarded young music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin; a large congress and concert building called De Doelen; several theaters (including the new Luxor) and movie theatres; and the Ahoy complex in the south of the city, which is used for pop concerts, exhibitions, tennis tournaments, and other activities. A major zoo called Diergaarde Blijdorp is situated at the northwest side of Rotterdam, complete with a walkthrough sea aquarium called the Oceanium. The city is home to the Willem de Kooning Academy and Piet Zwart Institute.

Rotterdam is currently going through a sort of renaissance, with some urban architecture projects, a nightlife, and many summer festivals celebrating the city's multicultural population and identity, such as the Caribbean-inspired "Summer Carnival", the Dance Parade, Rotterdam 666, the Metropolis pop festival and the World Port days. In the years 2005-2011 the city struggled with venues for popmusic. Many of the venues suffered severe financial problems. This resulted in the disappearance of the major music venues Nighttown and WATT and smaller stages such as Waterfront, Exit, and Heidegger. Currently the city has a few venues for pop music like Rotown, Poortgebouw. The venue WORM focuses on experimental music and related cutting edge subcultural music.There are also the International Film Festival in January, the Poetry International Festival in June, the North Sea Jazz Festival in July, the Valery Gergiev Festival in September, September in Rotterdam and the World of the Witte de With. In June 1970, The Holland Pop Festival (which featured Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Canned Heat, It's a Beautiful Day, and Santana) was held and filmed at the Stamping Grounds in Rotterdam.

The self-image of the city is that of a no-nonsense workers' city. In that sense, there is a healthy competition with Amsterdam, which is often viewed as the cultural capital of the Netherlands. There is a saying: "Amsterdam to party, Den Haag (The Hague) to live, Rotterdam to work". Another one, more popular by Rotterdammers, is "Money is earned in Rotterdam, divided in The Hague and spent in Amsterdam". Another saying that reflects both the rivalry between Rotterdam and Amsterdam is "Amsterdam has it, Rotterdam doesn't need it".

Rotterdam has had a rich hiphop music scene since the early 1980s. It is also the home of Gabber, a type of hardcore electronic music popular in the mid-1990s, with hard beats and samples. Groups like Neophyte and Rotterdam Terror Corps (RTC) started in Rotterdam.

The main cultural organisations in Amsterdam, such as the Concertgebouw and Holland Festival, have joint forces with similar organisations in Rotterdam, via A'R'dam. In 2007 these organisations published with plans for co-operation.[11] One of the goals is to strengthen the international position of culture and art in the Netherlands in the international context.

Museums

Rotterdam has many museums.Well known museums are the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum, the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), the Volkenkundig Museum (foreign peoples and cultures), the Kunsthal (design by Rem Koolhaas),the center for contemporary art Witte de With,[12] the Maritime Museum[13] and the Brandweermuseum (Fire brigade museum). The Historisch Museum http://www.hmr.rotterdam.nl/(Historical museum) has two buildings: the Dubbelde Palmboom and the Schielandshuis.Other museums include the tax museum and the nature historical museum. At the historical shipyard and museum Scheepswerf 'De Delft' the reconstruction of ship of the line Delft can be visited.[14]

Architecture and skyline

In 1898, the 45 meter high-rise office building the White House (in Dutch Witte Huis) was completed, at that time the tallest office building in Europe.In the first decades of the 20th century, some influential architecture in the modern style was built in Rotterdam. Notable are the Van Nelle fabriek (1929) a monument of modern factory design by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt, the Jugendstil clubhouse of the Royal Maas Yacht Club designed by Hooijkaas jr. en Brinkman (1909), and Feyenoord's football stadium De Kuip (1936) also by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt. The architect J. J. P. Oud was a famous Rotterdammer in those days.During the early stages of World War II the center of Rotterdam was bombed by the Germans, destroying many of the older buildings in the center of the city. After initial crisis re-construction the center of Rotterdam has become the site of ambitious new architecture.

Rotterdam is also famous for its Kubuswoningen or cube houses built by architect Piet Blom in 1984. In addition to that there are many international well known architects based in Rotterdam like O.M.A (Rem Koolhaas), MVRDV, Neutelings & Riedijk and Erick van Egeraat to name a few.

Rotterdam houses several of the tallest structures in the Netherlands.

Rotterdam has a reputation in being a platform for architectural development and education through the Berlage Institute, a postgraduate laboratory of architecture, and the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), which is open to the public and has a variety of good exhibitions on architecture and urban planning issues.

Rotterdam is standing in the best European SkylineTop together with Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, Warsaw and Moscow.Over 30 new highrise projects are being developed at the moment.

Two architectural landmarks are located in the Lloydkwartier: the STC college building and the Schiecentrale 4b.

Sports

Rotterdam is the home of three professional football clubs; two Eredivisie ('Honorary Division', or Dutch Premier League) football clubs, Feyenoord and Excelsior, and one Eerste Divisie club, Sparta. Rotterdam also has three Hoofdklasse (main class) clubs, SC Feijenoord (Feyenoord Amateurs), PVV DOTO and TOGR.

Feyenoord, founded in 1908 and the dominant of the three professional clubs, has won fourteen national titles since the introduction of professional football in the Netherlands. It won the European Cup as the first Dutch club in 1970, and won the World Cup for club teams in the same year. In 1974, they were the first Dutch club to win the UEFA Cup and in 2002, Feyenoord won the UEFA Cup again. In 2008, the year of their 100-year-anniversary, Feyenoord won the KNVB-cup. Feyenoord also has the biggest supporter group in the Netherlands.

Seating 51,480, its 1931 stadium, called Stadion Feyenoord but popularly known as De Kuip ('the Tub'), is the second largest in the country, after the Amsterdam ArenA. De Kuip, located in the southeast of the city, has hosted many international football games, including the final of Euro 2000 and has been awarded a FIFA 5 star ranking. There are concrete plans to build a new stadium with a capacity of at least 80,000 seats.

Sparta, founded in 1888 and situated in the northwest of Rotterdam, won the national title six times; Excelsior (founded 1902), in the northeast, has never won any. Nowadays Rotterdam is the only city with two (sometimes even three) teams in the Eredivisie.

Rotterdam has its own annual international marathon, which offers one of the fastest courses in the world. From 1985 until 1998, the world record was set in Rotterdam, first by Carlos Lopes and later in 1988 by Belayneh Dinsamo. The marathon starts and ends on the Coolsingel in the heart of Rotterdam.

Since 1972, Rotterdam hosts the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, part of the ATP Tour.

Members of the student rowing club Skadi were part of the 'Holland Acht', winning a gold medal at the Olympics in 1996.

In field hockey, Rotterdam has the largest hockey club in the Netherlands, HC Rotterdam, with its own stadium in the north of the city and nearly 2,400 members. The first men's and women's teams both play on the highest level in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.thumb|upright|Bep van Klaveren

Rotterdam is home to the most successful European baseball team, Neptunus Rotterdam, winning the most European Cups.

Since 1986, the city has selected its best sportsman, woman and team at the Rotterdam Sports Awards Election, held in December.

Motor cycle speedway was staged in the Feyenoord Stadium after the second world war. The team which raced in a Dutch league was known as the Feyenoord Tigers. The team included Dutch riders and some English and Australian riders.

Rotterdam has a long boxing tradition starting with Bep van Klaveren (1907–1992), aka 'The Dutch Windmill', Gold medal winner of the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, followed by professional boxers like Regilio Tuur and Don Diego Poeder.

Rotterdam's swimming tradition started with Marie Braun aka Zus (sister) Braun, who was coached to a Gold medal at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics by her mother Ma Braun, and 3 European titles 3 years later in Paris. In her career as 14 time national champ, she broke 6 world records. In later years Inge de Bruijn became a Rotterdam sport icon as triple Olympic Gold medal winner in 2000 and triple European Gold medal winner in 2001.

Francisco Elson is a Rotterdam born basketball player who played in the NBA, recently for Utah Jazz.

Rotterdam is currently bidding to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics. [18]

Tour De France

In November 2008 Rotterdam was chosen as the host of the Grand Départ of the 2010 Tour de France.Rotterdam won the selection over the Dutch city of Utrecht. Germany's Düsseldorf had previously also expressed interest in hosting. The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), organizer of the Tour de France, said in a statement on its web site that it chose Rotterdam because, in addition to it being another big city, like London, to showcase the use of bikes for urban transportation, it provided a location well positioned considering the rest of the route envisioned for the 2010 event.

The start in Rotterdam was the fifth in the Netherlands. The prologue was a 7km individual time trial crossing the centre of the city. The first regular stage left the Erasmusbrug and went south, towards Brussels.

Beaches

Between the summers of 2003 and 2008 an artificial beach was created at the Boompjeskade along the Nieuwe Maas, between the Erasmus Bridge and the Willems Bridge. Swimming was not possible, digging pits was limited to the height of the layer of sand, ca. 50 cm. Alternatively people go the beach of Hoek van Holland (which is still a Rotterdam district) or one of the beaches in Zeeland: Renesse or the Zuid Hollandse Eilanden: Ouddorp, Oostvoorne.

Shopping

Well-known streets in Rotterdam are the shopping center the Lijnbaan (the first set of pedestrian streets of the country, opened in 1953), the Hoogstraat, the Coolsingel with the city hall, and the Weena, which runs from the Central Station to the Hofplein (square). A modern shopping venue is the Beurstraverse ('Stock Exchange Traverse), better known by the informal name 'Koopgoot' ('Buying/Shopping Gutter', after its low-lying position, crossing Rotterdam's main street Coolsingel below street level).

The main shopping venue in the south of Rotterdam is Zuidplein, which lies close to Ahoy' Rotterdam, an accommodation center for shows, exhibitions, sporting events, concerts and congresses. Another prominent shopping center, called Alexandrium (sometimes still called by its former name Oosterhof), lies in the east of Rotterdam. It includes a large kitchen and furniture center.

Yearly events

Transport

Rotterdam is well connected by international, national, regional and local public transport systems, as well as by the Dutch motorway network.

Motorways
There are several motorways which run to/from Rotterdam. The following four are part of its 'Ring' (ring road):

The following two other motorways also serve Rotterdam:

Airport
Much smaller than the international hub Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport (formerly known as Zestienhoven) is the third largest airport in the country, behind Schiphol Airport and Eindhoven Airport. Located north of the city, it has shown a very strong growth over the past five years, mostly caused by the growth of the low-cost carrier market. For business travelers Zestienhoven Airport offers advantages due to rapid handling of passengers and baggage. Environmental regulations make further growth uncertain.

Train
Rotterdam is well connected to the Dutch railway network, and has several international connections:

Railway stations

The main connections:

In Rotterdam, public transport services are provided by these companies:

Light rail
To bridge the gap between national train services and local public transportation the Dutch Randstad has developed a regional light rail system called Randstad Rail. First trains ran in September 2006.

Metro

See main article: Rotterdam Metro.

See also: List of Rotterdam metro stations.

In 1968 Rotterdam was the first Dutch city to open a metro system. Currently the system consists of two main lines, each of which has some variants.

The eastern parts of the Caland Line have some level crossings (with priority), and could therefore be called light rail instead of metro; however, they are integrated in the system; these parts have overhead wires, while the rest has a third rail, the vehicles can handle both.

Tram

See main article: Trams in Rotterdam. The Rotterdam tramway network offers 9 regular tram lines and 4 "special" tram lines with a total length of 93.4 kilometres. ServiceTramlines in Rotterdam as of 2010:

Special tram lines:

Bus
Rotterdam offers 38 city bus lines with a total length of 432.7 kilometres.

RET runs buses in the city of Rotterdam and surrounding places like Spijkenisse, Rhoon, Poortugaal, Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Delft and Cappele a/d. IJssel.Buslines:

Qbuzz runs to places such as Zoetermeer, Berkel & Rodenrijs, Bergschenhoek, Pijnacker and Delft.Buslines:

Arriva Netherlands, Connexxion and Veolia runs busses from other cities to Rotterdam.

Water bus
Every half hour a water bus (Waterbus route 1) goes from Rotterdam to Dordrecht and vice versa. The trip takes an hour, inclusive stops along the way. The ferry can carry about 130 passengers and there is space for 60 bicycles. The stops are:

Notable Rotterdammers

See main article: List of people from Rotterdam.

International relations

Rotterdam has the following city and port connections throughout the world:

The British band The Beautiful South recorded a song named after this region.

Twin towns – sister cities

Rotterdam is twinned with:

Partner cities

Sister ports

See also

References

Notes

External links

Notes and References

  1. Web site: Kerncijfers Rotterdam 2006. rotterdam.nl. City of Rotterdam. May. 2006. 2007-04-04. PDF.
  2. Web site: Randstadmonitor 2006. www.regio-randstad.nl. Regio Randstad. March. 2010. 2009-10-01. PDF.
  3. http://www.olympic.org/news?articleid=156062&articlenewsgroup=-1 Six NOCs apply to host the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018
  4. Web site: The Witte Huis or White House,. 2008-05-15.
  5. Gebiedsanalyse 2006, Centrumgebied, Gemeente Rotterdam. Page 7 and 9.
  6. Kim Jansen. Muslims in Rotterdam. Open Society Institute. 2010.
  7. Web site: Werkloosheid in Rotterdam KNSexamen: Weblog Inburgering, NT2, examen. Knsexamen.nl. 2009-04-23. 2011-04-12.
  8. Web site: Home. Port of Rotterdam. 2009-05-06.
  9. Web site: Business School Ranking of the Financial Times 2009. Rankings.ft.com. 2011-04-12.
  10. Web site: Top European institutions in clinical medicine. Timeshighereducation.co.uk. 2011-04-12.
  11. Web site: Concertgebouw and Holland Festival manifesto. 2008-05-15.
  12. Web site: Witte de With museum. 2008-05-15.
  13. Web site: Maritiem Museum official site. 2008-05-15.
  14. Web site: Scheepswerf 'De Delft' official site. 2008-05-15.
  15. Web site: ING building brief. 2008-05-15.
  16. Web site: Sky Scraper City ING site. 2008-05-15.
  17. Web site: Emporis Maastoren. 2010-04-03.
  18. http://www.insidethegames.biz/olympics/youth-olympics/2018/16053-rotterdam-to-bid-for-2018-summer-youth-olympics Rotterdam to bid for 2018 Summer Youth Olympics
  19. Web site: International Film Festival official website. 2008-05-15.
  20. Web site: Rotterdam Marathon official website. 2008-05-15.
  21. Web site: KoninginnedagFestival official website. 2008-05-15.
  22. Web site: Pleinbioscoop official website. 2008-05-15.
  23. Web site: Zomer Carnival official website. 2008-05-15.
  24. Web site: FFWD Heineken] Dance Parade official website]. 2008-05-15. http://web.archive.org/web/20080404114111/http://ffwdheinekendanceparade.nl/ . 2008-04-04.
  25. Web site: World Port Day (Rotterdam) official website (in Dutch). 2008-05-15.
  26. Web site: Dutch Railway website. 2008-05-15.
  27. Web site: Lile Facts & Figures. Mairie-Lille.fr. 2007-12-17.
  28. http://www.comune.torino.it/relint/inglese/index.shtml Turin City Hall – International Affairs
  29. Web site: Gdańsk Official Website: 'Miasta partnerskie'. © 2009 Urząd Miejski w Gdańsku. Polish & English. 2009-07-11.
  30. http://www.granma.cu/espanol/2008/marzo/mar11/rotterdam.html Granma – En La Habana vicealcalde de la ciudad de Rotterdam
  31. Web site: Saint Petersburg in figures – International and Interregional Ties. Saint Petersburg City Government. 2008-03-23.
  32. Web site: Baltimore City Mayor's Office of International and Immigrant Affairs – Sister Cities Program. http://www.webcitation.org/5msGAdWU8. 2010-01-18. 2008-10-16.
  33. Web site: Dresden – Partner Cities. 2008. Landeshauptstadt Dresden. 2008-12-29.
  34. Web site: Sister Cities of Istanbul. 2007-09-08.
  35. News: İstanbul'a 49 kardeş. Radikal. Turkish. 2003-11-03. 49 sister cities in 2003. Erdem. Selim Efe.
  36. Web site: Christmas around the world. Hull in print. 2007-09-30. 2003. Kingston upon Hull City Council.
  37. http://www.oslo.kommune.no/the_city_of_oslo/international_cooperation/ Partners – Oslo kommune
  38. Web site: Bratislava City – Twin Towns. Bratislava-City.sk. 2008-10-26.
  39. Web site: Durban Official Website: Sister Cities Home Page. eThekwini Municipal Communications Department. 2009-02-19.
  40. Web site: www.praha-mesto.cz. Partner cities. 2008-10-09.
  41. http://www.city.kobe.jp/cityoffice/17/020/en/international/worldmap.htm City of Kobe
  42. http://www.busanport.com/service?id=en_sister_01