Rotterdam is a city and municipality in the Netherlands. It is in the province of South Holland, at the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas channel leading into the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta at the North Sea. Its history goes back to 1270, when a dam was constructed in the Rotte. In 1340, Rotterdam was granted city rights by the Count of Holland.
Rotterdam, major European port and second largest city of the Netherlands. The city lies along both banks of the New Meuse River, which is a northern distributary of the Rhine River.
The name Rotterdam was first mentioned in 1283, when a small tract of reclaimed land was created by draining the mouth of the Rotte River . Rotterdam developed as a fishing village and was chartered in 1328. In 1340 the town received permission to dig a canal to the Schie , and it became the major port of the province. The Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area, with a population of approximately 2.7 million, is the 13th-largest in the European Union and the most populous in the country.
A major logistic and economic centre, Rotterdam is Europe's largest seaport. In 2020, it had a population of 651,446 and is home to over 180 nationalities. Rotterdam is known for its university, riverside setting, lively cultural life, maritime heritage and modern architecture. The near-complete destruction of the city centre in the World War II Rotterdam Blitz has resulted in a varied architectural landscape, including sky-scrapers designed by architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Piet Blom and Ben van Berkel.The Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt give waterway access into the heart of Western Europe, including the highly industrialized Ruhr.
Data and Facts
- Rotterdam is the most multicultural city in the Netherlands, hosting inhabitants of over 160 different nationalities
- In 2009 prestigious travel guide Lonely Planet named the bar De Witte Aap at the Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam the best bar in the world
- Rotterdam is home to 68 football clubs. Two of those football clubs: Sparta and Feyenoord play in the Eredivisie
- Rotterdam is home to 73 bridges
- The Erasmusbridge is actually lovingly called ‘De Zwaan’ in Dutch, or the swan, thanks to its elegant shape
The Government of Rotterdam is the government of the municipality and city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Most of the inhabitants live in the city of Rotterdam, but the municipality also covers a number of small villages, and other parts of the local government, such as Rozenburg, cover an even larger area.
The coalition mayor and aldermen for the period 2006-2010 was formed by a coalition of the parties PvdA , CDA , VVD and GroenLinks . The college was sworn in on May 18, 2006.
The college since its inauguration in 2006 has had a number of cycles. VVD alderman Roelf de Boer retreated from his position in 2007. The two VVD aldermen Jeannette Baljeu and Mark Harbers were replaced by CDA and PvdA aldermen. This left the CDA with three council seats and three aldermen, a remarkable situation. In July 2009 CDA alderman Leonard Geluk joined the coalition but he stepped down prematurely, because of his new position as chairman of ROC Netherlands.
The city board of mayor and aldermen was formed by four parties: PvdA , VVD , D66 , and CDA .
Aldermen were: Jeannette Baljeu, Hugo de Jonge, Hamit Karakus, Jantine Kriens, Antoinette Laan and Korrie Louwes .
The city board of mayor and aldermen is formed by three parties: Leefbaar Rotterdam , D66 , and CDA .
The current mayor is Ahmed Aboutaleb .Until 19 March 2014, Rotterdam's fourteen boroughs had the formal status of sub municipalities under the Dutch Municipalities Act.
The sub municipalities were responsible for many activities that previously had been run by the central city. The idea was to bring the government closer to the people. All sub municipalities had their own dell gemeenteraad , directly elected by the borough's inhabitants. The district councils enjoyed far-reaching autonomous decision making powers in many policy areas. Only affairs pertaining to the whole city such as major infrastructural projects remained within the jurisdiction of the central municipal council.
In 2014, the submunicipalities were abolished by law, but Rotterdam maintained its boroughs. The district councils were replaced with smaller, but still directly elected gebiedscommissie .
Rotterdam’s economy is still almost completely based on shipping. The port lies at the heart of the densely populated and industrialized triangle of London, Paris, and the German Ruhr district and at the mouths of two important rivers , yet it is also open to the North Sea, the world’s most heavily navigated sea. The amount of sea-transported goods that pass through Rotterdam’s harbour and that of its outport, Europoort, is the largest in the world in terms of capacity, with much of its cargoes consisting of crude oil or petroleum products. Rotterdam is also one of the largest grain and general-cargo harbours on the continent. It is a major transshipment port for inland Europe, with tens of thousands of Rhine River barges using its facilities.Since the late 1940s Rotterdam’s oil-processing, or petrochemical, industry has grown in importance. The city has several large oil refineries. Pipelines from Rotterdam transport seaborne crude oil, refinery products, ethylene and natural gas, and naphtha to Amsterdam, the province of Limburg, the southern island district of Zeeland, the Belgian city of Antwerp, and to Germany. From the Rotterdam Chamber of the VOC, the world's 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 headquartered in the 'Willemswerf'.
Nowadays, well-known companies with headquarters in Rotterdam are consumers goods company Unilever, asset management firm Robeco, energy company Eneco, dredging company Van Oord, oil company Shell Downstream, terminal operator Vopak, commodity trading company Vitol and architecture firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture. It is also home to the regional headquarters of chemical company LyondellBasell, commodities trading company Glencore, pharmaceutical company Pfizer, logistics companies Stolt-Nielsen, electrical equipment company ABB Group and consumer goods company Procter & Gamble. Furthermore, Rotterdam has the Dutch headquarters of Allianz, Maersk, Petrobras, Samskip, Louis Dreyfus Group, Aon and MP Objects.
The City of Rotterdam makes use of the services of semi-government companies Roteb and students of Rotterdam Business school RBS and the Port of Rotterdam Authority . The city's unemployment rate is 12%, almost twice the national average.
Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Maas 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 handled.
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 between the European continent and overseas.
With many community offices, interesting commercial branches, a growing creative sector and a nice working culture, Rotterdam offers you a great work environment to pioneer in business life.
Rotterdam is an attractive city for doing business according to several international studies and rankings. The KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2016 Ranking for major global cities puts Rotterdam in 7th place, while the Netherlands occupies 3rd spot in the country ranking.
Steadily increasing in popularity, a large creative sector has been flourishing in addition to the sectors listed above. Entrepreneurs like architects, clothing designers and web designers have made their way to Rotterdam. They have set up a lively new scene, which is perfectly complementary to the traditional Rotterdam atmosphere.
The office market is very well connected to these sectors; for relatively low prices, you can rent a desk in a creative community building, or move up the scale to offices in impressive skyscrapers.
Rotterdam has become world famous because of its modern and groundbreaking architecture. Throughout the years the city has been nicknamed Manhattan at the Meuse and The architectural capital of the Netherlands both for its skyline and because it is home to internationally leading architectural firms involved in the design of famous buildings and bridges in other big cities. Examples include OMA , Neutelings & Riedijk and Erick van Egeraat. It has the reputation in being a platform for architectural development and education through the NAi , which is open to the public and has a variety of exhibitions on architecture and urban planning issues and prior the Berlage Institute, a postgraduate laboratory of architecture. The city has 38 skyscrapers and 352 high-rises and has many skyscrapers planned or under construction. The top 5 of highest buildings in the Netherlands consists entirely of buildings in Rotterdam. Rotterdam offers connections by international, national, regional and local public transport systems, as well as by the Dutch motorway network. There are several motorways to/from Rotterdam.Much smaller than the international hub Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport 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, Rotterdam The Hague Airport offers advantages in terms of rapid handling of passengers and baggage. Environmental regulations make further growth uncertain. In 1968, Rotterdam was the first Dutch city to open a metro system. Currently the metro system consists of three main lines, each of which has its own variants. The system is operated by 5 lines; 3 lines on the east–west line, and two on the north–south line. Line E connects Rotterdam with The Hague as of December 2011. The Rotterdam tramway network offers 9 regular tram lines and 4 special tram lines with a total length of 93.4 km .
Rotterdam offers 55 city bus lines with a total length of 432.7 km . RET runs buses in the city of Rotterdam and surrounding places like Spijkenisse, Barendrecht, Ridderkerk, Rhoon, Poortugaal, Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Delft and Capelle aan den IJssel. . Arriva Netherlands, Connexxion, Qbuzz and Veolia run buses from other cities to Rotterdam.
With the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands, is the «gateway to Europe.» Retaining that aside, Rotterdam has witnessed some tremendous growth in the last few years with its tech scenes gaining traction and momentum. Thanks to thousands of creative, passionate and ambitious entrepreneurs. Next to Amsterdam, its Rotterdam in the list with the most promising potential to be the next-best technology hub of the Netherlands. Named as «Boston of the Netherlands,» Rotterdam is the most multicultural place in the Netherlands accommodating people from various countries.
In the recently published ‘StartupBlink Global Rankings Report 2019‘, Netherlands was ranked 6th among 100 countries, and Rotterdam followed Amsterdam to get the title of the second most developed ecosystem in the Netherlands.
According to the research firm, “Our algorithm analyses tens of thousands of data points on registered startups, accelerators and co-working spaces listed on the StartupBlink global startup ecosystem map, as well as data received from our global partners such as Crunchbase, and SimilarWeb. Ultimately, we leverage data gathered from more than 50,000 members throughout the Global StartupBlink community.” Further, they added, “StartupBlink increasingly relies on ecosystem partnerships in numerous cities; these partners help us improve the accuracy of our data while we supply them with valuable insights that help them promote and improve their local startup ecosystems. Our partners range from universities and public innovation corporations to leading startup organisations”.
Since Rotterdam features the biggest European port, it brings a lot of opportunities through various industries like shipping, fishing and freight and that’s how tech startups like Shypple were born, which is also known as the ‘Booking.com of sea freight.’ Moreover, the city is young and dynamic, it is very easy for outsiders to get familiar with.Rotterdam is now home to 500+ amazing tech startups, which is nearly two-thirds as many as Amsterdam. Having said that, companies focused on SaaS, algorithms and other technologies have carved a name for themselves. Followed by an electronic giant, Coolblue, Rotterdam has seen more companies like Mendix , Helloprint, Shypple , Quantib and other software- or platform-based scaleups add to the diversity of Rotterdam’s tech startup ecosystem.
Located in the heart of Holland, Rotterdam is not even an hour away from south of Amsterdam and really close to other European hubs like London, Paris or Cologne. Situated in the strategic location, Rotterdam gets to benefit from other leading tech hubs as a partner city, since Amsterdam, its close partner is reaching its saturation level.
With access to talent from both the technology sector and the business sector , all ingredients for founding and scaling successful startups are locally brewed. 42workspace is one of the prime examples, which is one of the first tech-focused workspaces in the city. Founded in 2016 by our dear friend Ohad Gilad, 42workspace features over 3000 m2 of coworking space spread across 7 floors, and it’s the first and only coworking space in the region that focuses primarily on tech startups. The tech-hub is an initiative of Keadyn and other private investors who pooled together €4.5 million in funding to bring the concept to life. With the influx of tech startups and scaleups, more and more co-working spaces are opening their doors. Also, the flex- and co-workers enjoy not only the space but also the environment and network of other like-minded people.
Another best thing about Rotterdam is that living expenses and office rents are 15% lower compared to Amsterdam.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
'Rotterdam' is divided into a northern and a southern part by the river Nieuwe Maas, connected by : the Beneluxtunnel; the Maastunnel; the Erasmusbrug ; a subway tunnel; the Willemsspoortunnel ; the Willemsbrug ; the Koninginnebrij ; and the Van Brienenoordbrug . The former railway lift bridge De Hef is preserved as a monument in lifted position between the Noordereiland and the south of Rotterdam.Rotterdam is diverse, with the demographics differing by neighbourhood. The city centre has a disproportionately high number of single people when compared to other cities, with 70% of the population between the ages of 20 and 40 identifying as single. Those with higher education and higher income live disproportionately in the city centre, as do foreign born citizens. 54% of city centre residents are foreign born, compared to 45% in other parts of the city, while in the city centre 70% of businesses are run by foreign born people. Nonetheless, this is no comment on income, as 80% of homes are rented in the city centre.The municipality of Rotterdam is part of the Rotterdam-The Hague Metropolitan Area which, as of 2015, covers an area of 1,130 km2, of which 990 km km2 is land, and has a population of approximately 2,563,197. As of 2019, the municipality itself occupies an area of 325.79 km2, 208.80 km2 of which is land, and is home to 638,751 inhabitants.Its population peaked at 731,564 in 1965, but the dual processes of suburbanization and counterurbanization saw this number steadily decline over the next 2 decades, reaching 560,000 by 1985. One other area, Rozenburg, does have an official sub municipality status since 18 March 2010. 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. 50.3% 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. The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, is of Moroccan descent and is a practicing Muslim. The city also has its own ChinaTown at the West-Kruiskade, close to Rotterdam Centraal.
Christianity is the largest religion in Rotterdam, with 31.1% of the population identifying. The second and third largest religions are Islam and Hinduism , while about half of the population has no religious affiliation.
Since 1795 Rotterdam has hosted the chief congregation of the liberal Protestant brotherhood of Remonstrants. From 1955 it has been the seat of the bishop of Rotterdam when the Rotterdam diocese was split from the Haarlem diocese.
- Judith Bokhove
- Arno Bonte
- Arjan van Gils
- Michiel Grauss
- Said Kasmi
- Barbara Kathmann
- Bas Kurvers
- Sven de Langen
- Richard Moti
- Bert Wijbenga