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."