Nieuws uit Amsterdam Nieuws uit Amsterdam en Left-wing collaboration in Amsterdam <p>This weekend, PvdA (social-democrats), SP (socialists) and GroenLinks (green party) have announced a left-wing pact. The parties criticize the ‘worthless’ coalition agreement of the new right-wing national government and opt for a city that is sustainable and characterised by solidarity. At the same time, the pact is an indication that the signatories want to form a coalition after the local election in March 2018.</p> Sun, 22 Oct 2017 10:11:10 +0200 News from Amsterdam reactivated <p>In view of the local elections in March 2018, News from Amsterdam has been temporarily reactivated. Five years ago, I <a href="/en/756/announcement">suspended</a> updates to the website.</p> Sun, 08 Oct 2017 11:20:00 +0200 Dutch rail passengers are observed by cameras in advertising columns <p>«What are those mini cameras doing in that advertising column!», a Twitter user asked today. In a response, Dutch Railways (NS) <a href="">said</a> that advertisers use the cameras to assess whether passengers look at advertising and for how long.</p> Mon, 04 Sep 2017 20:58:38 +0200 Bike share in Amsterdam: who benefits <p>Over the past weeks, Amsterdam has been flooded by <a href="">rogue</a> bike share bicycles that can be rented with a smartphone app. <em>Big business</em>, <a href="">according</a> to newspaper het Parool. Amsterdammers responded to this <a href="">commercial junk</a> by <a href="">placing</a> bicycles at bulky waste disposal sites. The municipality has <a href="">announced</a> it will remove all bike share bicycles, and subsequently regulate the market.</p> Sat, 05 Aug 2017 15:00:13 +0200 Airbnb’s agreement with Amsterdam: some insights from scraped data <p>Airbnb is under fire. The platform would harm the liveability of Amsterdam neighbourhoods and drive up house prices. In December last year, Amsterdam and Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deal with abuses. According to Airbnb, the agreement is already bearing fruit. Airbnb thinks Amsterdam should focus its enforcement efforts on other platforms. But Amsterdam wants to introduce a registration requirement for holiday lettings, a measure Airbnb vehemently opposes.</p> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:16:29 +0200 Amsterdam’s most irritating traffic light is at the Middenweg <p>Amsterdam’s most irritating traffic light is at the crossing of Middenweg and Wembleylaan, according to a poll among cyclists. The Amsterdam branch of cyclists’ organisation Fietsersbond says the top 10 most irritating traffic lights are well-known problem sites. </p> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:57:26 +0100 How much delay for cyclists is caused by traffic lights <p>The other day I posted an <a href="">article</a> on how much time cyclists lose at traffic lights in Amsterdam. Someone <a href="">asked</a> if I can calculate what percentage of total time lost by cyclists is caused by traffic lights. Keep in mind that delays can be caused by traffic lights, but also by crossings without traffic lights, crowded routes and road surface.</p> Sun, 08 Jan 2017 13:41:21 +0100 Exploring traffic lights with location data from cyclists’ phones <p>In 2006, Amsterdammers <a href="">voted</a> Frederiksplein the location with the most irritating traffic light. Now, ten years later, data from the Fietstelweek (<em>Bicycle Counting Week</em>) offer a unique opportunity to map how much time cyclists lose at traffic lights. During Fietstelweek, over 40,000 Dutch cyclists have shared their location data using a smartphone app. Some of the findings are summarised on the map above, which shows quite a few red dots - locations where cyclists lose on average 30 seconds or more.</p> Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:35:44 +0100 Inequality in elections <p>There’s been a bit of fuss about turnout in the American presidential election, but turnout inequality is an issue in the Netherlands too. Youth, low-educated people and people with lower incomes are less likely to vote, possibly because they have little faith politicians will take their interests at heart.</p> Sat, 19 Nov 2016 13:24:47 +0100 Illustrating Amsterdam on Wikipedia <p>Wikipedia has pages on Amsterdam in 197 languages, 149 of which have at least one image. The editors of different language versions do not generally use the same images to illustrate their page. The graph below shows how often images are used.<a href="#fn:1" id="fnref:1" title="see footnote" class="footnote">[1]</a></p> Tue, 01 Nov 2016 12:52:43 +0100 Amsterdam houses on the Chinese market <p>In the Guardian, London mayor Sadiq Khan has <a href="">announced</a> the launch of an investigation into the effect of foreign investment on the London housing market. In Amsterdam, concerns have been voiced over <em>super rich</em> Russians and Chinese buying up property, although this phenomenon is probably in its infancy compared to London. Newspaper het Parool reported that 15 expensive houses have been sold to rich Chinese and Russians in 2014 and identified a canal house, asking price 6.7 million euros, that had been sold to an ‘international investor’.<a href="#fn:1" id="fnref:1" title="see footnote" class="footnote">[1]</a></p> Sun, 02 Oct 2016 10:01:49 +0200 Exploring tax haven Amsterdam <p>In 2012, I <a href="">mapped</a> the geographical evolution of Amsterdam’s trust offices. Since 2006, many had changed their name or moved to a different location, resulting in four major concentrations: Zuidoost, Prins Bernhardplein, Zuidas and Naritaweg.</p> Sun, 04 Sep 2016 09:45:05 +0200 Has Google Maps found a way to have its cake and eat it <p style="font-size:0.7em;">Not interesting: P.L. Takbuurt</p> Sun, 14 Aug 2016 12:05:03 +0200 Amsterdam has room for another 2.1 million bicycle racks <p>Amsterdam has a persistent <a href="">shortage</a> of bicycle racks. <em>Bicycle professor</em> Marco te Brömmelstroet <a href="">argues</a> that this is really a matter of making choices: the space occupied by four parked cars could easily accommodate 30 bicycle racks.</p> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 18:39:45 +0200 Strava wants my commute data <p><a href=""><img src="" height="42" width="42" align="left" border="5" class="tag-image"></a>Dutch tv recently aired a fascinating documentary on the «smart city» phenomenon. Companies like Google are teaming up with local governments to further expand their already huge datasets on human behaviour, raising the spectre of total control and absence of privacy (someone used the word <em>panoptical</em>).</p> Mon, 09 May 2016 19:07:40 +0200 Has coverage of Amsterdam’s district politics declined? <p>The districts with their elected councils have always played an important role in Amsterdam politics, but since the elections of 19 March 2014 their powers have been curtailed (I’m simplifying; <a href="">here</a>’s an explanation in Dutch). One may ask what point there is in having districts if their role is largely reduced to implementing policies set by the city government. And would people still be interested in what they do?</p> Sun, 23 Aug 2015 18:33:45 +0200 Amsterdam: Are cyclists’ complaints taken seriously <p>Cyclists’ organisation Fietsersbond has a <a href="">website</a> where you can report dangerous bollards, traffic lights that take ages to turn green, a shortage of bicycle racks, etcetera. A group of volunteers frequently check the status quo. For the good news click <a href="">here</a>: across the entire city, there are locations where the situation for cyclists appears to have improved.</p> Mon, 15 Jun 2015 19:00:31 +0200 Bubbles of inequality in Amsterdam <p>Amsterdam is booming, columnist Kees Kraaijeveld recently <a href="">wrote</a>, but it’s a ’tough meritocratic men’s world’ and ‘the booming life blows bubbles of inequality’. The middle class is shrinking and the share of high incomes is rising. «The big questions are: do we want this? And, if we don’t: what are we going to do about it?»</p> Sun, 14 Jun 2015 10:05:45 +0200 Plastic bags on bicycle saddles <p>The new <a href="">OEK</a> (the members’ magazine of the Amsterdam chapter of cyclists’ organisation Fietsersbond) features another cool investigation by Pete Jordan. This time, he looked into the plastic supermarket bags Amsterdammers use to keep their bicycle saddles dry. He counted them around the railway stations Sloterdijk, CS and Muiderpoort.</p> Sun, 07 Jun 2015 13:37:12 +0200 Why is the government counting the number of «new townspeople» <p>The research bureau of the Amsterdam government recently released a <a href="">dataset</a> about Amsterdam’s neighbourhoods, which contains over 20 variables that in some way deal with the ethnicity of local residents. The Netherlands has always had a somewhat dubious obsession with categorising people by ethnic background (not just on the basis of where they were born, but where their parents were born). Even so, I was a bit surprised by the category <em>new townspeople</em> (nieuwe stedelingen). People are considered new townspeople if they meet the following criteria:</p> Sun, 22 Feb 2015 11:50:18 +0100