The Dutch city of Rotterdam, often referred to as a hotbed of architectural activity, has been named as the best city in Europe by The Academy of Urbanism at the 2015 Urbanism Awards. Pitted against two other finalists - Aarhus in Denmark and Turin in Italy - the city has been praised for its "predominantly young, open, tolerant community that is embracing innovative architecture and urban design and new business models."
Despite being a very closely fought battle, the Academy said that Rotterdam was a vote winner for its "unique approach to governance. Appointed for six years by central government, the role of mayor sits outside of political structures and with no portfolio, allowing greater engagement with citizens and businesses." Steven Bee, Chairman of the Academy, said that "a long-term perspective, a high level of autonomy, strong leadership by the mayor and municipality, and strong partnerships between public and private sector, are all helping Rotterdam grow positively."
The award is one of five given out annually by the Academy "to recognise the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments. Voted on by Academicians, each award covers a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success." The City of Aberystwyth in Wales picked up the Great Town Award for its "leading work in promoting its location, economy and liveability." Holbeck Urban Village (UK), a regenerated business-led community, picked up the Great Neighbourhood award; Bridge Street / North Street in Taunton (UK) received the Great Street Award; and St Pancras International (London) won the Great Place Award.
Find out more here. See some of the latest interesting architectural projects in the city here on ArchDaily below: