Walking through nocturnal Rotterdam: from night workers to insomnia and a new night mayor

Een donkere Rotterdamse straat met het stoplicht op groen.
Tijdens een nachtelijke stadswandeling op een Rotterdams erf wordt een man geinterviewd.
Arend Verbrugh

Shoes on, laces up: the third season of the science podcast Stadswandelingen has been launched on Spotify! This time, the editors, a group of motivated and talented students, shine their light on topics that take place in the dark in conversation with scientists and Rotterdammers. Because a lot happens in the city when most Rotterdammers are still asleep.

‘’Actually, I work best at night myself,‘’ says labour sociologist Fabian Dekker as he stands in front of the Markthal late at night for an interview on night work. A night earlier, for the same episode, someone was interviewed who is a waste collector by night and a hairdresser by day. During each walk, the editors talk to researchers from our university and engaged Rotterdammers. Some for their knowledge, others for their experience.

Nachtfoto van een drukke Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam.
Arend Verbrugh

The night as inspiration

The fascination with the night is shared by the final editors. Bart Huijser (28): ''Night is often associated with negativity in Rotterdam. As a resident ‘in Zuid’, I see that it is mostly about an explosion here and a stabbing there. But much more happens in the Rotterdam night, of course, and that's what we and our editors have made seven diverse episodes about.''

According to editor-in-chief Laurie Haanschoten (25), who has lived in Rotterdam all her life, the night as a theme ties in nicely with science. ''Not only is night a hot topic among Rotterdammers, but it also has a crazy appeal for researchers and their research."

Vrouw wordt in Rotterdam tijdens Stadswandeling geinterviewd door twee mensen.
Arend Verbrugh

Street harassment under the starry sky

We start on 14 May with a darker side of the night: sexual street harassment. Dr Tamar Fisher and Lara Jade Vleeschhouwer talk about what street harassment entails, how it affects women in particular and how we can create safe spaces for them. ''We interviewed Lara Jade de Vleeschhouwer in the station area. She organises woman-only parties,'' explains Laurie Haanschoten. ''Because of the way and place we conducted the interview, the story makes more sense. You suddenly find yourself at the time and place where the problem is taking place and really get a picture of it.''

Politieman wordt geinterviewd voor de Rotterdamse podcast de Stadswandeling.
Arend Verbrugh

Sex work is part of Rotterdam, isn't it?

Laurie and Bart were both impressed by episode 4 in which sex worker and activist Venny Lugard is a guest. She spoke about the lack of space for sex workers in the city, while the walk walked past the defunct streetwalking zone on G.J. de Jonghweg. ''It became an episode where you dive like a historian into the rise and fall of Rotterdam as a city with red light districts,'' Bart says, ''but it then makes you think about how specific policies towards sex workers perpetuate stereotypes.''

Getting curious? The science podcast Stadswandelingen is a product of Erasmus Verbindt in cooperation with RTV Rijnmond. The episodes can be listened to from now on via Spotify.

May 14 - Episode #1: Sexual harassment 
21 May - Episode #2: The New Night Mayor 
28 May - Episode #3: Confused or... Misunderstood Behaviour
4 June - Episode #4: Space for Sex Work 
11 June - Episode #5: Invisible Work (night work)
18 June - Episode #6: Sleepless Nights

Schermafbeelding uit de trailer voor de podcastserie Stadswandelingen van Erasmus Verbindt.

Trailer podcast Stadswandelingen seizoen 3

More information

Listen to the podcast on Spotify

About Stadswandelingen and Erasmus Verbindt

Stadswandelingen is a podcast series of six episodes in which we explore topics and themes around the city of Rotterdam, by connecting science and complex Rotterdam issues. We do this while walking, right in the places where topics take place. In each episode, we walk with a researcher from Erasmus University Rotterdam and an involved city dweller, in search of answers to big and small issues in Rotterdam.

‘Erasmus Verbindt’ (EV) is a university-wide and mainly student-driven initiative with the aim of connecting science and society in a regional context: ‘to create a positive impact.’ The podcast Stadswandelingen is one of the ways Erasmus Verbindt tries to build a bridge between the university and the city. Would you like to participate in Erasmus Verbindt or are you curious about the organisation?

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Seksuele straatintimidatiecampagne Rotterdam

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