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Re: Euro Adventure: Rotterdam II

Antiloop and Ronald: Thank you for the insights. I also had noticed the "distinctive" architectural style in this thread and some others which Ronald has posted.

Rotterdam certainly looks quite different from most North American cities, and seems to have been built entirely within the past 30 years (I know that's an exaggeration, but seems to describe the "look" of the city as shown in pics posted here).
 
Re: Euro Adventure: Rotterdam II

The best way to think about the parts of Rotterdam shown are a Dutch interpretation of a modern, highrise city. The built, physical form of the buildings are distinctively Dutch.

But the city as whole and the feel you get from it when you include interacting with locals, going about daily business, and going from neighborhood to neighborhood is in many respects similair to that of being in Toronto or Montreal.

A good example is when you arrive at Rotterdam Centraal. When you leave from the main entrance you immediately walk out into a district of highrises in an area that seems to cater primarily to business clients and tourists. Walk 5 minutes, and you enter a shopping district that is low rise in nature. Walk another 5 minutes and you enter a quiter, more residential lowrise neighborhood where many of the buildings are pre WW2 and have a very classic Dutch look to them. But if you keep walking another 5 minutes you find yourself at an arterial road (4 lanes for autos, 2 for tram, 2 for bike) which is lined with midrises. On the other side of the arterial you find yourself back in a neighborhood of late 19th, early 20th buildings (and in fact many are probably much older than that). This is what you see for the next 5 minutes until you hit the river in which case the newest grouping of modern highrises emmerge as well as the Erasmus bridge. So in only a 20 minute walk you have travelled through 4 districts which are distinct in character and the time they were built, just as is the case when you walk through many Canadian cities where you have districts of 1960's - 80's high rises, then Victorian neighborhoods, and then into industrial areas being rebuilt today, then back into another neighborhood type, all in a short distance.

And when leaving Rotterdam Centraal if you head out to the secondary entrance on the other side of the tracks you walk into a neighborhood of classic Dutch lowrise housing that could be mistaken for a neighborhood in Amsterdam at first sight.

I think that is part of the reason why Rotterdam is such an interesting city. It is very eclectic. It is not neat and orderly like many Dutch, or European, cities. And in a city that is eclectic in form that is inhabited by creative, eclectic people in an environment where people have a great deal of freedom to express themselves architecturally the results are what see in many of the photo tours posted on this forum.
 

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