The old port city is dead. Long live creative Rotterdam

Frank van Oort, Professor of regional and urban economics at Erasmus School of Economics

As said by Alderman Maarten Struijvenberg at the presentation of the Economical Survey of Rotterdam 2018 (Economische Verkenning Rotterdam), Rotterdam remains the “welfare capital of the Netherlands”. According to Frank van Oort, professor of urban and regional economics at Erasmus School of Economics, this is because there are some groups lagging behind, despite the fact that the city and the region are doing well. ‘The question is whether these groups will be able to come along’.

According to van Oort, Rotterdam should be more closely linked to the ‘new economy’. Traditionally, the region has been strong in trade, logistics and the maritime industry, but there is much more employment in digitalization and the energy transition. However, this connection with the ‘new economy’ goes not fast enough, says van Oort. ‘Major players, such as Shell, need to invest even more in innovation. Such companies can create economies of scale, employment and productivity. However, every now and then I think that this is lacking in the Rotterdam region. Large companies are still using the old model, where they are still making money.’

Read the whole article of NRC Handelsblad, 16 March 2018 (in Dutch).