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


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