Hometown R’dam


The city is a whimsical phenomenon. People live closely together because the place is apparently that attractive that the advantages outweigh all possible disadvantages. On the other hand, the accumulation of people means that the city is no longer attractive to some. Between these two extremes is a skillful and artful balancing of administrators and planners to reconcile all conflicting interests. Built up versus open space, peace and bustle, moving and staying, etc., a successful city is a multitasker.

As a city, Rotterdam is above average unruly. Young as she is, self-critical moreover and with the hands-on  mentality, it develops more systematically than organically. For the time being, its seems the city tends to start over and over. Often more the exception than the rule. Sheltered neighborhoods, special architecture, a skyline in the making, successful shopping ribbons and greenery in all shapes and sizes. All this intersected by a majestic river. Shards of happiness in search of coherence.

Rotterdam shows that  it  is currently at a tipping point. The city becomes fuller, connections are made and entanglements are emerging. History is being made. In addition, it is good to realize that the changes will be less and less drastic and the city structure itself will become more and more a constant value. The city is slowly going to settle down. More firmness than change. More the rule than the exception. This change ensures that investments will be made in the public domain, in streets, skirting boards and desirable routes, in short, coherence. By focusing on the structure, space for private initiative is automatically created, in short freedom.

“Hometown R’dam” is a photo series in which urban structure and the individual joy of living come together. The photos show the definition of home for a number of Rotterdammers who have moved in recent years. Their home is never only their house or apartment, but also the place, the street, the environment in which this house is located. Some residences are new, others renovated, still other homes were formerly an office. Sometimes rent, sometimes buy. In certain cases self-built, usually not. But almost in all case everything falls into place. The place one calls home.

“Hometown R’dam” is a plea not to start city planning over and over again, but to always relate to the basics. Look at the people of Rotterdam and their city.