What does Rotterdam taste like? Literally. A new project wants to raise awareness of urban nature in the city by creating syrup from Rotterdam’s wild green spaces. Their aim is to surprise the people of Rotterdam with the richness of tastes you can find in the natural environment of this industrial city.
The Dutch city that is mostly associated with its harbor and industrial landscape is aiming to become “cleaner, green and healthier”, or in other words: more sustainable. And how to combine ecological and social sustainability? In order to connect Rotterdammers to the urban greenery and natural resources of the city, artist and designer Asnate Bockis came up with the idea to present the taste of Rotterdam in a series of syrups. The project Siroop Rotterdam was carried out in collaboration with Stroop Rotterdam, a local community space in the up-and-coming neighborhood Delfshaven, and Contemporary Wild, a collective of artists and designers focusing on knowledge sharing on food and greenery.
In a series of 12 workshops over the course of 2015, local people of all ages and backgrounds were invited to collect edible wild plants, fruits and flowers from Rotterdam’s urban green spaces, like (communal) gardens, parks, abandoned areas or even industrial landscapes. Using different techniques, these natural resources were processed into mainly syrups, but also ‘stroopwafels’ (Dutch waffles) or tea and pancakes. The result is a series of 12 syrups that form a year cycle of seasonal tastes that literally represent the city of Rotterdam. Think of tastes like dandelion, birch, nettle or even ‘Christmas tree’ in December. This active use of the city’s green spaces will give the urbanites a different perspective on urban nature and the surprising value of greenery in the city.