Amsterdam’s Canal District: Origins, Evolution, and Future Prospects
In terms of design, scale, and blending of ecologicical and esthetic function, Amsterdam’s seventeenth-century Canal District is a European marvel. Its survival for four centuries is a testament to its ingenuity, reflected in its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. The Canal District today is an extraordinary example of resilient historic design and cultural heritage in a living city, but it is not without present-day challenges: in recent years, its urban ecology has become subject to severe pressures of global tourism and supergentrification.
This edited volume brings together 17 reputable scholars to debate questions about the origins, evolution, and future of the Canal District. With differing approaches and perspectives on the Canal District, the contributions render a collection where the whole is much more than the sum of the parts. The book breaks new ground in our understanding of the District’s historic design, its evolution over four hundred years, and the fundamental issues in strategies and policies towards the future. While the main focus is clearly on Amsterdam, the discussions have an important bearing on urban historic preservation elsewhere, and on questions about enduring urban design.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 272 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationJan Nijman is Director and Distinguished University Professor at the Urban Studies Institute of Georgia State University, and professor of Geography at the University of Amsterdam.
Table of contents
List of contributors
1. Introduction – Jan Nijman
PART I: HISTORIC ORIGINS
2. Between art and expediency: Origins of the Canal District – Jaap Evert Abrahamse
3. Designing the world’s most liberal city – Russell Shorto
4. A privileged site in the city, the republic and the world economy – Herman van der Wusten
PART II: EVOLUTION
5. Bourgeois homes: The elite spaces of the Canal District – Cle Lesger and Jan Hein Furnee
6. The architectural essence of the Canal District: Past and present – Freek Schmidt
7. The Canal District: A continuing history of modern planning – Len de Klerk
PART III: 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES
8. Preservation through transformation: Amsterdam through the lens of Barcelona – Mark Warren, Melisa Pesoa and Joaquín Sabaté
9. The Canal District as a site of cognitive-cultural activities: “A miracle of spaciousness, compactness, intelligible order” – Robert Kloosterman and Karin Pfeffer
10. Cause Célèbre: The contested history of the Canal District – Susan Legêne and T.C. Ver Loren van Themaat
11. The Canal District as home: Living in a commodified space – Fenne Pinkster and Willem Boterman
Subjects and Courses