Amsterdam Canal Plan Sparks Controversy
"Amsterdam, the 'Venice of the North,' is divided over plans to reopen canals paved over more than 100 years ago. The city council wants to dig up parking lots, squares and playgrounds but some residents oppose surrendering precious land to make way for more water... Supporters of plans to open canals -- which were filled in to make way for horse-drawn carriages and cover waterways that had become open sewers -- say more water will make the city even more beautiful. Those against fear the inconvenience of years of construction and its effects on business."
Amsterdam, ringed by a belt of 165 canals spanned by more than 1,200 bridges, attracts some 6 million tourists a year.
Thanks to Katherine Coles