Highly-skilled immigrants from Brazil, Russia, India and China value living in Amsterdam, according to a thesis by a student who has done a work placement with the town planning department. Respondents are often from large, polluted and congested cities and consider it a ‘unique selling point’ that all destinations in Amsterdam can be reached on foot or bicycle. A woman from India:
I’m proud of the fact that I can get anywhere on bicycle in Amsterdam. I think it’s great. I can do anything without a car, that’s really special. For me, Amsterdam is the number one city because of cycling.
On the one hand, Amsterdam wants rid of immigrants with few prospects. On the other hand, it desperately wants to attract highly skilled immigrants, among other things to fill a shortage of IT specialists. The thesis shows that potential immigrants often initially consider Amsterdam a second-best option at best. If they do come to Amsterdam, it is often after a visit as a tourist or because of a Dutch partner or a corporate acquisition.