Arriving in Rotterdam one of the first things that I heard was that the city has been chosen to Lonely Planets top 10 cities to visit in 2016. Why on earth? A city that Europe is full of, almost in Amsterdam, but not quite.
During my 5 days in Rotterdam I was convereted.
It is a city worth a trip. It helped me to understand this as while in Rotterdam I came across to an artice in Finnish media. The story is about how the rich and the poor are getting ready to the rise of the sea level. The comparison was made between Rotterdam and Chadghara in Bangladesh.
The message was sad. In Bangladesh there already are sea level refugees and their number will grow. Whereas in Rotterdam a lot can be done.
The water can be stopped with huge flood gates. So far they have been in use once in ten years, but it’s expected that in the future they will be needed every year. Rotterdam is also exploring the possibilities of floating architecture. The city doesn’t have to be tied to current coastlines.
Rising water also occupies fields that are used to growing food and ruins the land with salt. Rotterdam has already started growing food on rooftops.
It’s great that solutions exists. The question remains who is ready to finance their realization also in Bangladesh? How is this turned into business opportunity in the developing world as well? To solve this is a good reason to travel to Rotterdam in 2016.
Another: bicycling. One way to make biking safe, is to pressure bikers to use helmets. Another is to build safe lanes for bikers.
But no one is perfect. A visit to a toy store in Rotterdam revealed that also the dutch are only people. They still separate the toys for boys’ and girls’ sections…