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Amsterdam increasingly crowded: more residents and more tourists

DutchAmsterdam.nl — Amsterdam’s historic city center is getting busier.

The number of people settling in the area — which covers just 8 km² — is steadily increasing, and each year more tourists visit the popular downtown district. In addition there is a steady increase in the number of people who work in the city’s center.

This is evident from Trendrapport Amsterdam Centrum 2011. The bi-annual research report of the Amsterdam Centrum borough maps key developments in the inner city.

Video by Craig Coles, showing a not-so crowded Amsterdam

Jeanine Pinxteren, Amsterdam Centrum chairman, says, “The figures regarding this small and most discussed part of Amsterdam speak for themselves: more than 80,000 residents and over 11 million tourists who primarily visit the city’s center.

“This ensures a constant flow of crowds and socializing. The unique combination of residential and commercial areas, set in the historic inner city with narrow streets and canals ensures that our city center can not be compared with that of any other European capital.”

Keeping Amsterdam liveable

The report also makes clear that it is a challenge to keep downtown Amsterdam liveable.

“What you notice is that more people suffer from nuisance,” Van Pixteren says. “The support for public events in the city decreases: fewer residents and businesses find such events enjoyable.”

Big public events that draw huge crowds include the annual Grachtenfestival (Canals Festival), the annual Gay Pride Boat Parade, and the annual Dam to Damloop marathon.

In 2010 there was an increase in the number of major events, the number of visitors attending these events, as well as the number of tourists. Less than half of the citizens consider the resulting crowdiness to be gezellig.

The number of people who say they are never bothered by terraces in the city fell from 80% to 53%. In particular there is irritation over blocked sidewalks, while people who live near outdoor caf&#233’s complain about the level of noise.

Amsterdam’s Metropolitan area

In recent years the tourist pros in charge of promoting the city have started to promote the Amsterdam’s Metropolitan Area, which includes pretty much the entire province of North Holland.

That’s why many promotional videos for the city suddenly show the beach at Zandvoort, aerial scenes of Haarlem, the Muiderslot castle, and the cheese market in Alkmaar — to name but a few of the wonderful things you’ll find in, er, ‘Greater Amsterdam.’

Some other notable facts about Amsterdam’s City Center

  • Amsterdam’s city center remains a wonderful place to live. It scores high on such indicators as liveability and social fabric. Downtown residents rate their district higher than those of any other Amsterdam borough, rating it 8.1 out of a possible 10 points
  • Since the last report, in 2009, there has been a marked increase in the number of aging people: 12 percent
  • There has been an increase in the number of households with children. It appears that an expanding family is less often a reason for leaving the busy center
  • The number of cyclists has doubled in 20 years. During the same period the number of cars decreased by 30 percent
  • Since 2005 the number of Dutch hotel guests increased by half, while the number of British and American guests during this period decreased by one quarter
  • Despite the economic crisis the number of business (18.088) and employees (90.725) in the city center has increased
  • The number of visitors to museums in Amsterdam’s historic grachtengordel (literally, belt of canals) has increased. In August, 2010 the grachtengordel was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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