Amsterdam's Mercator Square is a Work in Progress

Michèle Champagne of Open City Projects Inc. examines Amsterdam's Mercator Square and how it functions as an open space. The community around Mercator Square is ethnically diverse, has good urbanism details, yet violence still is a problem.

Champagne gives a historical overview of what Mercator has been through:

"Over the last 30 years, Mercator's context has often been characterized by social housing and immigration: from former Dutch colonies like Surinam and Indonesia, as well as from Turkey and Morocco. Whereas the urbanism-immigration dialogue in a country like Canada can often be nuanced, the Netherlands recently saw the rise of controversial right-wing politicians and strong anti-immigrant rhetoric. Hence the confusion about Mercator's success. In Amsterdam, public space is not designed without context-whether people ‘like' or ‘dislike' this aesthetic or that bench. Rather, public space is a totem of socio-cultural values."

Full Story: Living on the edge at Mercatorplein

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95