The discussion continues on whether Amsterdam can realize urban growth within existing urban areas or whether the city needs the proposed big-scale expansion locations at the artifical island of IJburg and near the 1970’s satellite-town Almere. Architects Tom Bergevoet and Maarten van Tuijl, of Temp Architecture, did a basic survey using Google Earth and found about 450 ha of vacant lots (red stains on the map) in Amsterdam, comparable to the IJburg project. Temporary use of vacant urban space for recreation, gardening and cultural events could make urban life more pleasant and prepare new sites like IJburg for urban occupation (phased development scheme below, in three steps). Politicians agree that a certain amount of vacant land and buildings is always needed to keep a city flexible and dynamic. However, a surplus of vacancy is thought to be unpleasant and unsafe.
ARCAM organizes debates with politicians, investors and entrepreneurs, on vacant buildings (May 18th 2011), and on vacant urban land (May 25th 2011). From May 11th, ARCAM hosts an exhibition by Temp, called New Space for the City.
Urban Change – Amsterdam: densification or expansion (English)
Het Parool – In de stad ligt een IJburg braak (Dutch)