Locally Speaking – Slums, Squats & Skyscrapers

Locally Speaking: an English talk-show with Dutch local news.

Students in shipping containers, breweries in former animal shelters and hotels in cranes. Is it too soon to discuss living arrangements?

Tonight we take you on a walk through the rich history of Amsterdam city planning, social housing and vacancy versus gentrification.
Find out what’s going on in the outskirts of town, why it’s impossible to rent cheaper then €1000 a month while there are so many vacant offices, why half the city has moved to Almere and why the remaining half is making a solid attempt to buy the coal plant in the west of town and turn it into a chocolate factory.

For our panel we have invited Tracy Metz: architecture journalist and expert on urban development, Dr. Wouter van Gent: Assistant Professor Urban Studies from Amsterdam University and Simon van Dommelen: urban advisor and founder of LOLA, a Dutch foundation committed to making vacant properties available for social initiatives.

Tonight is hosted by Jeanette M. Vermeulen-Rodd from South-Africa.

The rest of the program includes:

Greg’s intermezzo:   
Comedian Greg Shapiro reflects on his ‘UnDutchable’ experiences with the Dutch people.

Hidden gems of Amsterdam: Bijlmermeer
De Bijlmer in the South-East of Amsterdam was built in the late 60’s and early 70’s and used to be defined by a lot of high-rises and in some ways could be compared to the projects in New York. Nowadays the area has been renewed and diversified and is one of the most culturally diverse areas in Amsterdam but is still rarely visited by tourists. Sara Mattens, founder of Vinger.nl, a creative studio in Bijlmermeer will share what it is like to grow up in the Bijlmer and talk about some of the current art projects.

A local’s week:
In 2010 the Dutch government prohibited squatting in houses that had been empty over a year and lot of buildings in Amsterdam were cleared. A number of squats have been turned into cultural locations over the years. Floris de Zachtbaardige who used to organize cultural activities in a squat on the Raamgracht now is the founder of Vondelbunker, underneath the bridge of the Vondelpark. He will share his underground plans for the upcoming week.

Jazzy tunes:
Before and after the program by DJ Duke John.

At ‘Locally Speaking’ you can relax with an mimosa while our guests browse the headlines, inform you on Dutch news, culture, nature and local fun facts from the in-crowd. Stop by and brush up on what’s hot and what’s not in this small country below sea-level.

Photo by local photographer Bien Schols
“It all started when a client couldn’t pay me for the copy I wrote for her. Instead of money, she gave me her camera. And that’s how my journey started. Wandering the streets of Amsterdam I try to write stories, not by copy but by pictures.” Follow her on Instagram