The Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory
The first signs of the transformation are already visible: a large amount of the original inhabitants has been displaced, most of the trees have been chopped off to provide the necessary space for the new construction and most of the businesses have moved out of the neighborhood.
The policies of spatial transformation of problematic urban areas are implemented through massive demolitions and reconstruction campaigns. The destruction of the physical environments goes hand in hand with the obliteration of people’s livelihood, socio-economical networks and communities. The high percentage of immigrants in one area, namely Moroccan and Turkish families perceived as demographic, ethnic threat to the city. The forced gentrification plan is not about integration and strengthening the weak population groups. Its not about identifying and strengthening the local potentials but its about forcing out the unwanted group and strengthening an already privileged group, making for them a higher and relatively luxurious life-style affordable and at the same time imposing displacement, a painful nomadic lifestyle to the “problematic” group who are all Dutch citizens mainly with Turkish or Moroccan descent.
It is not the first time that in Amsterdam the demolition of certain neighbourhood is claimed as ‘necessary’. Previously, the city council had planned the destruction of the Jordaan, nowadays one of the most trendy and expensive neighbourhood of the city. The same plans were made for the 19th century belt in the east of the city. These areas - their architecture, urban form and inhabitants – were considered as a structural problem and therefore in need of total renewal plans. Only popular revolt prevented their complete destruction.