Acting as one

A column by Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam

Rotterdam’s winning streak from the past few years looks set to continue after it received an Urban Award ‘European City of the Year’ from the British think tank Academy of Urbanism, for being the best European city to live in. And this is only the beginning, says the city’s mayor.

Ahmed Aboutaleb (Mayor of Rotterdam), Allard Castelein (Chief Executive Officer Port of Rotterdam Authority), Pauline van der Meer Mohr (president Executive Board Erasmus University) Ron Voskuilen (Managing Director Rotterdam Partners)

The City of Rotterdam, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Rotterdam Partners (an organisation which promotes the city’s economy) have joined forces in the form of an official partnership to make the most of this international acclaim and the city’s inherent ambition – and develop even more opportunities.

Rotterdam is a no-nonsense and industrious city, with a unique and international mixture of people, companies and brainpower, which is boosted by the presence of the Erasmus University in the city.

We strongly believe that by ‘acting as one’ we will increase Rotterdam’s national and international appeal and visibility to companies, investors and students. It is a very logical choice for the four partners to team up, since we all share the same Rotterdam mentality which basically comes down to the firm belief that there is no use in just discussing your ambitions; you have to act on them. Actually, this partnership’s pay-off says it all: Make It Happen.

High-profile and recent examples of new and impressive city initiatives receiving international acclaim are the Rotterdam Markthal and Central Station, and also the Nieuwe Warmteweg which recovers waste heat from the port for use in homes and offices around the city, and Smart Port, an Erasmus University project which helps to develop the city’s logistics industries through academic research and education. The common denominator is co-operation, which is now formalized by our partnership. We are committed to showing off the results of these innovations and developments by engaging with each other to share them around world.

We live in an ever-changing international social and economic environment, with a need to maintain a clear focus and at the same time stay open to new ideas. Rotterdam’s new partnership and its unique infrastructure enables it to deal with the challenges and turn them into opportunities.

The four organisations have committed to ‘make it happen’ physically, educationally and economically wise – to deal with these challenges and turn them into opportunities. Will you join us in our ambition? Together we have made and will make it happen.

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