Do it like
Jolanda Jansen (50) is the director of the Rotterdam Ahoy event complex, where the Eurovision Song Contest was recently held. She is also a spokesperson for the events industry.
Lives: After 17 years in Zuid, moved to the old prison in Noord last year with archaeologist Wouter.
Why: ‘I thought I would miss the water and the bridge, but this older neighbourhood is so spontaneous and lively. Less structured than on the other side of the river Maas.’
Hopes: ‘Rotterdam doesn’t only focus on large, efficient real estate projects. A disorderly neighbourhood like Zoho with studios for artists adds character to the neighbourhood.’
Noord has a soul. When we went to look at the housing project in the old prison, we were sold within ten minutes. You can still feel the shackles, but according to Wouter, who is an archaeologist, there are no longer any old ghosts hanging around. Because the complex is walled, it is an oasis of peace. Once you enter the gates, you get a village feel. Walking through Noord feels like travelling. The pioneering spirit is everywhere, it has the same raw vibe as Berlin.