Imagine a Metropolis: Rotterdam’s creative class, 1970-2000


Author: Ulzen~Patricia van
Publisher: Publisher 010, Rotterdam
Year: 2007
ISBN: 978-90-6450-621-5

design: Rick Vermeulen | English | paperback | 17 x 24 cm | 240 pages | illustrated (52 color and b/w)

The urban and cultural climate of Rotterdam changed radically between 1970 and 2000. Opinions differ about what the most important changes were, and when they occurred. Imagine a Metropolis shows that it was first and foremost a new perspective on Rotterdam that stimulated the development of the city during this period.

If the Rotterdam of 1970 was still a city with an identity crises that wanted to be small rather than large and cosy rather than commercial, by 2000 Rotterdam had the image of the most metropolitan of all Dutch cities. Artists and other cultural practitioners – a group these days termed the ‘creative class’ – were the first to advance this metropolitan vision, thereby paving the way for the New Rotterdam that would begin to take concrete shape at the end of the 1980s.

Imagine a Metropolis goes on to show that this New Rotterdam is returning to its nineteenth-century identity and the developments of the inter-war years and the period of post-war reconstruction.


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