An urban strategy on the symbiotic collaboration between festivals and urban development, creating a strong identity for both.


With the bombing of its central city, Rotterdam lost the main part of its cultural facilities. After the war Rotterdam utilized temporarily cultural manifestations to celebrate the development of the city and the identity of Rotterdam.



Festivals in Rotterdam during one year.


The past decade Rotterdam acquired the title: Festival City of the Netherlands. This success caused a sprawl of festivals. The strong connection to the urban development and the identity of the city seems to be lost.

The strategy Festival City_Rotterdam sees the collaboration between the festivals and the city as the interaction between a tulip and its flower bulb.

The tulip is a metaphor for the festival that blossoms once a year and shows its beauty to all who want to see. The flower bulb is a metaphor for the supporting community that organizes the festival. The tulip cannot flourish without the bulb grounded in a fertile ground, the city.




The strategy is substantiated by case studies (see projects: Caribbean Summer @Afrikaanderwijk / Rotterdam Urban Theatre), which put principles on how festivals and the city can symbiotically collaborate in practice.


Rotterdam Festivals, 2oo8, Rotterdam, the Netherlands