4. 'WHOSE CITY?'
The guide books love to talk of Amsterdam as a homely city but whose home is it now? Is it the home of the growing number of international corporations that inhabit this so-called creative city? The residents who have been fighting for their space since the great revolutionary days of the Sixties? Or the tourists who swamp the central districts? All are competing for dominance and whoever wins through will determine what happens to the character and landscape of the Dutch capital.
Laurie Taylor concludes his study of Amsterdam by looking at the city's future.
Back in the early Seventies, the council sought to improve traffic flow by driving a dual carriage way through the Nieuwmarkt neighbourhood to the city centre. Jutus Uitermark, a sociologist at the University of Amsterdam explains to Laurie the mass resistance that followed; how it killed the project; and how it could be seen as a precursor of new approaches to urban life.
Professor Léon Deben, Amsterdam councillor, Associate University Professor of Urban Sociology and renowned town guide, gives his views on what constitutes a successful city.
Whilst Saskia Sassen, a Dutch sociologist based at the University of Chicago, discusses the contradiction between the demand for creative spaces in Amsterdam and the city's historical commitment to planning.
At the Salvation Army hostel, Laurie talks to Dr. Peter Rensen, a doctoral student at the University of Amsterdam who is writing his PhD on Homelessness. Later, they meet up with Mishu one of the city's street sleepers .
Abram de Swaan, Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam describes the rituals of the city visitors he wrote about in his essay on suburban citizens' weekly trips to the centre of town.
Justus Uitermark, PhD student
Amsterdam School for Social science Research (ASSR), University of Amsterdam
Professor Léon Deben
Associate Professor of Urban Sociology at the University of Amsterdam
Cultural Heritage and The Future of the Historic Inner City of Amsterdam
Leon Deben (Editor), Willem Salet (Editor), Marie-Thérèse van Thoor
Publisher: Aksant Academic Publishers
Understanding Amsterdam: Essays in Economic Vitality, City Life and Urban Form
Leon Deben, Willem Heinemeijer, Dick van der Vaart
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago
Dr. Peter Rensen
Amsterdam Study Centre for the Metropolitan Environment (AME)
Prof. Abram De Swaan
University Professor of Social Science
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