The Zuidas needs cultural icons, if only to relieve the troubled city center. That is what Zef Hemel, professor of planning (University of Amsterdam) says in Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool.

Hemels has been asked by mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam to formulate a vision of Amsterdam’s city center. According to the professor, it would be nice if tourists, who spend an average of three days in Amsterdam, could spend two days on the Zuidas. He does not think of a museum, but of international names or institutions that act like a magnet on tourists, without giving examples of that.

Hemel is thinking of a natural route from the Museumplein to the Zuidas. He thinks that the municipality should work hard on this, because in his opinion the Zuidas is merely a business center, he says to Het Parool. According to him provisions are urgently needed at the Zuidas. ‘Now there is nothing at all, the residents can hardly go to a store there.’

According to the professor, the inner city has become far too busy and the social cohesion has disappeared. He sketches the image of people wandering through the city center with earplugs in, gazing on smartphones, but also city dwellers who put their house on Airbnb.

If it is up to the professor, the city center turns into a monumental garden where not only city dwellers come together, but all Amsterdam residents who now avoid the historic heart because of the crowds. Hemel will officially present its vision of the city center in October.


Beeld: ArtZuid-Cristóbal-Gabarrón-Enlightened-Universe-2015