- Shaping the Core City: It’s people that matter    click here to open paper content1486 kb
by    Gadet, Jos & van Zanen, Koos | j.gadet@dro.amsterdam.nl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The three hard core spatial settlement conditions of the knowledge-based economy compulsary need intra-urban restructuring, with sprawl reducing side effects.
A large, and growing, group is willing to live in the core city. However, this desire is not unconditional! Amsterdam is the core city of a metropolitan area of about 2.3 million people. The one half lives in the compact central agglomeration, the other half in rather compact towns in the surroundings. So far strict compact city policy canalized sprawl to a certain extent. Nevertheless, growing pressure on the scarce land makes new planning strategies inevitable.

Amsterdam nowadays is redefining its position among the larger cities in the globalizing world. So far the knowledge based economy has been very helpful finding out things in this process. Not so long ago the internet was thought to make every creative enterprise and employee footloose. However, it proves to be the other way around: the knowledge based economy assigns ‘places to be’. Amsterdam is one of these!
Accommodating this is ‘all about people’. Empiric research on the spatial settlement conditions of knowledge based firms and workers in the Amsterdam urban region, shows three hard core conditions:
• fine mixture of functions in a small scale setting (clustering because of synergy, exchange of creativity and tacit knowledge by face to face contacts, inner city supply of culture, restaurants and bars).
• ‘quiet’ residential areas with mixed urbanity ‘around the corner’
• the specific quality of public space

The strategy now is for local government, institutional developers, and private investors together, to search and define existing urban areas with high potentials from the perspective described above. These actors can then initiate the adaptation of the new economy.
Recent developments in Amsterdam show that this works, if equipped with the right tools. As a side effect it reduces sprawl.
Preliminary thoughts on other Dutch cities, Berlin and London reveal the general value of this analysis and strategy.
knowledge based economy, Amsterdam, compact city, fine mixture of functions
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