Hofbogenpark: Rotterdam's newest green landmark

Hofbogenpark: Rotterdam's newest green landmark

ROTTERDAM, 10 November 2023 – The final design of the Hofbogenpark, an innovative urban green space set to be the Netherlands' longest rooftop park, has been confirmed, marking a significant step towards its realization in Rotterdam.

Final design of Hofbogenpark confirmed

The Hofbogenpark, poised to become the longest rooftop park in the Netherlands, is nearing its construction phase. The final design for this unique, 2-kilometer long urban green space, located atop the historic Hofbogen, has been approved by the municipal council, and the tendering process is set to begin. The project, slated to commence in 2025, will transform the path of the Netherlands' first electric train into a tranquil walking area from Gordelweg in the north to Luchtpark in the city centre.

Hofbogenpark: Rotterdam's newest green landmarkHofbogenpark: Rotterdam's newest green landmark

Historical significance and transformation

The Hofplein line, a railway connecting Rotterdam and The Hague-Scheveningen, operated for nearly a century, with trains traversing the city via the Hofbogen. This viaduct has not only served as a railway but also played a vital social role through its hosting of shops and businesses.

Emphasizing inclusivity, the Hofbogenpark aims to welcome both residents and visitors, alongside fostering biodiversity. The design focuses on plant diversity and creating habitats for various species, including bees, butterflies, toads, bats, birds, and hedgehogs. Special access points will be installed for smaller animals.

Hofbogenpark: Rotterdam's newest green landmarkHofbogenpark: Rotterdam's newest green landmark

Evolving landscapes and sustainable features

The park's design mirrors the evolving scenery of a train journey, offering diverse experiences along its length. From the lively urban vibe near Station Hofplein to the tranquility towards Noorderkanaal, activity spots or 'platforms' along the walkway will offer different experiences, such as a children's play area at Ammersooiseplein and a contemplative water platform at Bergselaan.

The park will feature a circular water system for rainwater collection and purification, aiding the city's resilience against heavy rainfall and droughts. This system will eliminate the need for tap water for irrigation and water play areas.

Traversing four densely populated city districts in northern Rotterdam, the Hofbogenpark promises a serene green retreat amidst the urban landscape. Future plans include gradually greening the surrounding streets and potentially constructing a bridge over the A20 to ecologically connect the park with Schiebroek.

Hofbogenpark: Rotterdam's newest green landmarkHofbogenpark: Rotterdam's newest green landmark


Directions to Hofbogenpark

When completed, Hofbogenpark will be located in the heart of Rotterdam. The area surrounding the park features a mix of historic and modern urban elements, offering a unique walking experience.

Rotterdam boosts elderly care with dining subsidies

Rotterdam boosts elderly care with dining subsidies

ROTTERDAM, 3 November 2023 – In a significant move to enhance community dining and social interaction among the elderly, the Rotterdam city government has announced a new subsidy scheme for care and neighbourhood restaurants.

Photo credit: David Rozing

Expansion and renovation of local eateries

Alderman Ronald Buijt of Care, Elderly and Youth Care awarded the subsidies on Friday, marking a new chapter for the city's culinary landscape. The scheme has led to the creation of four new restaurants and the renovation or sustainability improvement of five existing locations.

Buijt expressed enthusiasm for the diverse applications received, highlighting the special initiative of a mobile kitchen designed to serve healthy meals to the elderly across multiple locations.

Supporting elderly care through community dining

The subsidy aims to encourage the establishment of new care and neighbourhood restaurants while aiding the growth of existing ones. These restaurants are envisioned as social hubs where the elderly can engage in conversations, enjoy healthy and affordable meals, and participate in various activities, thus combating loneliness within the community.

Eligibility for the subsidy requires the restaurants to host at least two dining activities per week for the elderly. The funding can be utilized for kitchen equipment, staff training, efficient marketing, communication strategies, and other aspects. In addition to monetary aid, vouchers are also provided to invite local residents for free trial meals.

Financial allocation for the project

For the year 2023, €369,000 has been allocated to this initiative from an available €450,000. The budget will increase to €680,000 in 2024, and from January 2025 to December 2026, the subsidy will be €530,000. 

EUR celebrates 110 years with street-art by Mick La Rock

EUR celebrates 110 years with street-art by Mick La Rock

ROTTERDAM, 2 November 2023 – Erasmus University Rotterdam celebrates its 110th anniversary with a magnificent street-art mural by Mick La Rock.

Photo credit: Alexander Santos Lima

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) marks its 22nd lustrum celebration with the unveiling of a street-art mural by renowned artist Mick La Rock. The mural, measuring approximately 10 x 30 meters, is located on the Woudestein campus and was officially inaugurated on 8 November in the presence of the artist. Following the inauguration, La Rock's solo exhibition 'Brutal', featuring recent independent works, opened in the Erasmus Gallery.

Erasmus University Rotterdam commemorates 110th anniversary with street-art. Photo credit: Alexander Santos LimaErasmus University Rotterdam commemorates 110th anniversary with street-art. Photo credit: Alexander Santos Lima

Mick La Rock

Mick La Rock, also known as Aileen Middel (born in 1970), is a pioneer in Europe's graffiti art scene. Starting at the age of 13, she became an integral part of the burgeoning hip-hop culture, embracing graffiti, rap, and breakdance that emerged from New York City. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, La Rock's art evolved from traditional graffiti to abstract styles, influenced by the rugged concrete of brutalist architecture and typography from the latter half of the 20th century. Her work often explores the abstraction of typographic elements beyond their original essence and composition.


Significance of street art

Prof. Dr. Pauwke Berkers, Professor of Sociology of Popular Music at EUR, commented on the significance of street-art: “Walls are often used to delineate boundaries, between public and private spaces, between people. Art serves as a bridge between social groups, breaking down metaphorical walls and fostering engagement with both the space and its inhabitants.”

The mural is located at the S building of the Woudestein campus, symbolizing EUR's longstanding commitment to integrating visual art into its environment. This commitment is evident in the university's diverse range of artworks displayed throughout its buildings and outdoor spaces, collectively forming the EUR Art Collection.

Directions to the mural

Campus Woudestein Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA Rotterdam - Mural location: S building.

To visit the mural, head to the S building on the Woudestein campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam, located at Burgemeester Oudlaan 50. The campus offers a vibrant blend of academic and cultural experiences, situated in a dynamic area of Rotterdam. 

Rotterdam Zoo focuses on species preservation

Rotterdam Zoo focuses on species preservation

ROTTERDAM, 1 November 2023 – Diergaarde Blijdorp, a key fixture in Rotterdam's cultural and natural landscape, embarks on a transformative journey towards ecosystem restoration and species conservation.

Diergaarde Blijdorp's new direction

In a significant shift, Diergaarde Blijdorp, a prominent zoo in Rotterdam, has announced a refined mission and vision for its future, extending to 2050. The zoo's updated strategy places a strong emphasis on species conservation and ecosystem restoration. Erik Zevenbergen, the director of Diergaarde Blijdorp, expressed the organization's deep sense of responsibility towards these goals. The comprehensive Masterplan is available for public access at diergaardeblijdorp.nl/masterplan2050.

Restoration of nature

With a history spanning 166 years, Diergaarde Blijdorp is not only celebrated for its aesthetic appeal but also for its significant role in nature conservation. Zevenbergen highlights the zoo's commitment to reversing ecological challenges and preserving biodiversity as central to its mission. The new motto, "Together we bring nature back to life," encapsulates this commitment.

Focus on the TEN species

The zoo's immediate focus is on ten specific animal and plant species, collectively referred to as the TEN. These species are targeted for significant conservation efforts, with the aim to remove them from the 'Endangered' category of the IUCN Red List by 2050. Diergaarde Blijdorp plays a crucial role in international population management and species preservation, as detailed in the Masterplan. The species include the red panda, Rüppell's vulture, pygmy hippopotamus, Lesser Antillean iguana, common stingray, Asian elephant, Dalmatian pelican, surgeonfish, Annam leaf turtle, and Rwanda water lily.

Commitment to future generations

Zevenbergen stresses the importance of acting now to preserve nature for future generations, emphasizing the responsibility to leave a sustainable legacy. The zoo's efforts are geared towards ensuring a balanced and healthy planet for the children of tomorrow.

About Diergaarde Blijdorp

The Royal Rotterdam Zoo, known as Diergaarde Blijdorp, has been a prominent feature in the European zoo landscape for 166 years. As the most visited zoo in the Netherlands and a repeatedly chosen favourite destination, it offers a close experience with global nature and wildlife.


How to get there

Diergaarde Blijdorp is located in a vibrant area of Rotterdam, easily accessible by public transport and car. For visitors using public transportation, the zoo is a short walk from the Rotterdam Centraal station. For those driving, ample parking is available near the entrance. The zoo's picturesque setting makes it an ideal destination for both locals and tourists.


Rotterdam Philharmonic's 'Give in Harmony' initiative

Rotterdam Philharmonic's 'Give in Harmony' initiative

ROTTERDAM, 31 October 2023 – The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra introduces 'Give in Harmony', an initiative fostering inclusive concert experiences for all.

Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestra's new initiative

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra has launched 'Give in Harmony' (Geef in Harmonie), a programme designed to make concert experiences accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial means. This initiative allows ticket purchasers to contribute towards an additional ticket for someone who otherwise may not afford it. Currently, the orchestra is collaborating with various Rotterdam-based social organisations, including the Food Bank Rotterdam (Voedselbank Rotterdam), Stichting Mano, and Dress for Success.

Origins of the initiative

Recognising the importance of classical music in cultural enrichment, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra initiated 'Give in Harmony'. This programme is inspired by 'Give a Gift' (Geef een Toegift) of the United Podium Arts Festivals and follows the concept of 'paying it forward'. It offers ticket buyers the opportunity to donate towards an extra ticket, thereby facilitating concert attendance for those who are financially less fortunate.

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra has launched 'Give in Harmony' (Geef in Harmonie), a programme designed to make concert experiences accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial means.The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra has launched 'Give in Harmony' (Geef in Harmonie), a programme designed to make concert experiences accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial means.

Collaborative partners

In its endeavour, the orchestra collaborates with various socially engaged entities in Rotterdam. These partners include Stichting Mano, IMC Weekend School, Food Bank Rotterdam, and Dress for Success, all contributing to the broader impact of this initiative.

How it works

When purchasing concert tickets, buyers have the option to add a minimum of €5 to their purchase as a donation to this cause. These contributions enable the orchestra, in partnership with organisations like Stichting Mano, to offer unforgettable experiences such as family show visits for refugee children or special evenings for volunteers of the Food Bank Rotterdam.

Further information and involvement

With the first donations already received, future concert visits are being planned. Suggestions for charitable causes, other ideas, and inquiries are welcome. For more information, visit the orchestra's website.

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