Rotterdam, Top congress destination
Rotterdam, city on the Maas, is considered the most modern city of the Netherlands. Atypical in its own country, internationally renowned for its passion for innovation and its unpolished charms. Whether it is its ever-changing skyline full of audacious architecture, its port that is regarded as the smartest in the world, or the “can do” mentality of its residents. Rotterdam is a town with a pronounced character, energetic and always dynamic. That is why so much is possible here.
Rotterdam and Rotterdammers do not shy away from experiments; on the contrary, they are looking for them. Getting down to business and innovating; it is all part of the city’s DNA. It is telling that the day after the bombardment of 14 May 1940, the townspeople were heard singing ‘Wij zijn Rotterdammers, wij houden vol’ (“We are from Rotterdam, we persevere”. This motto, which speaks of resoluteness in action, expresses the character of Rotterdam and its residents. How a bubbling metropolis was built literally on the ruins after the bombardment. A city where these days people from some 170 nationalities are living together. For more information on the city of Rotterdam, please click here.
City of innovation
The bold urge for innovation characterizes Rotterdam to this day. Whether it is architecture, the creative sector or the port: Rotterdam is innovative. And far from seldom a trendsetter. For example, think of the development of Maasvlakte 2 and the architectural feats in the Kop van Zuid district. The city on the river Maas is home to several leading architectural firms: OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) of Rem Koolhaas, MVRDV and ZUS. However, the Rotterdam universities, educational institutions and knowledge centres, including the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, are held in high esteem internationally because of their top-quality research and education.
The city offers unparalleled room for innovation and entrepreneurship. In Rotterdam, residents, entrepreneurs and students are provided with mental and physical opportunities to develop, innovate, grow and conquer the world. Rotterdammers themselves lead the way and take the chance to make an active contribution to building the sustainable city of tomorrow. That “can do” mentality is part of the city’s DNA. Traditionally, Rotterdam has drawn immigrants from far and wide. They came to the city to make their dreams come true, to build their futures.
This pioneer attitude resulted in Rotterdam becoming the global port it is today. Where residents, entrepreneurs and students with their initiatives and sustainable solutions shape and influence the new economy. A floating farm and educational centre rolled into one (Floating Farm), an old swimming pool that has been converted to a breeding ground for innovative companies that link up waste streams (BlueCity010), a multidisciplinary design bureau that uses old car dashboards to make ink for your printer (Better Future Factory) or a floating park on top of plastic building blocks, made of litter picked out of the river (Recycled Park)… these are all projects that are implemented in the creative city of Rotterdam and are inspiring examples for the rest of the world.
The dynamics of Rotterdam ensure that the city lets itself be discovered again and again. It is a city that combines statements about architecture, urban development and design with small-scale projects. Where iconic buildings such as the Markthal, De Rotterdam and the Erasmusbrug catch the eye, but where you can also allow yourself to be taken by surprise by a garden hidden on a roof, by colourful street art, remarkable shops of local designers, by amazing street festivals and the urban vibe of its residents. It is that combination which acts like a magnet. Rotterdam is a ‘must see’ city. Tough, lively, diverse and always changing. A city where there is room for everyone.
Thanks to its strategic position in Europe, Rotterdam is literally connected with the rest of the world. The city can be reached by plane, train, ship, coach or car. Thanks to its compact town centre, many business and conference locations, hotels and other amenities are within walking distance of each other. Connections in Rotterdam arise naturally, maybe exactly because of these very short distances. People, companies, educational institutions that see opportunities and decide to go for something together. Who go down new avenues to promote an idea, the city, or a knowledge field. Thus, Rotterdam is increasingly often the platform for large international conferences, for example about the smart port and logistics (Smart Future Logistics, World Conference Cities and Ports), about growth, disease and health among children (Generation R) or the transition to more sustainable forms of energy (Winddays). Smart technologies and applications from Rotterdam entrepreneurs and the knowledge of scientists of the Erasmus University and the Erasmus University Medical Center come together around these conferences and fairs, and new avenues are explored.
The Rotterdam Innovation District, the largest innovation workshop in Europe, is where the city literally provides space for this. Old docklands areas that are falling into disuse – connected by the river that has brought such prosperity to Rotterdam – are transformed into an innovation eco-system. Progressive institutions and companies come together in this place and join up with start-ups, business incubators and business accelerators. It is where the Next Economy (sustainable, circular economy, digitization, creative industry) for city and port is taking shape.