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Centre for Applied Research on Business and Economics

A vivid portrait of a versatile Amsterdam Zuidoost

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Developing a research approach from Amsterdam Zuidoost.

We are committed to using our presence in the area to contribute

a) continuing promoting interest in, and acquiring knowledge of, Zuidoost;
b) respecting and embracing its versatility and c) eliminating barriers in its layout.

In all three elements, we adopt the metaphor of a guided tour that provides a physical and mental map to share. We relate such a map to an existing tradition of what we like to call ‘translators’ of the area, people such as guide Jenny van Dalen, or architect Peter Dautzenberg. These are people who recognised the beauty of places such as the Bijlmer before others, and who taught many to appreciate (and conserve) them. In this sense, their work has contributed to a revalorisation of Bijlmer heritage and to a more widespread awareness of its value.

However, there are also concerns that this revalorisation could result inexcessively lucrative operations that may be detrimental to the current residents of Zuidoost. The renovation of the Amsterdamse Poort and the transformation of the emblematic ‘Zandkasteel’ (Sand Castle) building into luxury apartments has been met with mixed feelings, as these works could affect accessibility and increase prices throughout the area. More than ever, especially in relation to point ‘b’ above, concerted efforts need to be made to ensure that investments will improve collective public spaces and will build on an inclusive and diverse cultural and historical awareness. More specifically, The Bijlmer has now acquired legitimacy and cannot simply be demolished. Its history is also linked to the many newcomers that brought new rhythms to the city of Amsterdam.

We are convinced that Zuidoost’s sustainable plans and metropolitan ambitions will only succeed if they also include, reflect upon and safeguard this versatility. In cooperation with Carla Hoffschulte

Reference Arbones Aran, N., & Hoffschulte, C. A vivid portrait of a versatile Amsterdam Zuidoost