‘Delivering for the Fancy as Well as the Shabby’ Amsterdam’s Post-war Utopia of Urban Diversity


  • Tim Verlaan VU University Amsterdam




Amesterdam, mass tourism, gentrification


Over the last few years, Amsterdam’s inner city has seen a rapid
decrease in quality of life. Long-time residents and established retailers are increasingly giving way to the needs and demands of mass tourism.The advent of low-cost airliners, the rise of a global middle class and the uncontrollable spread of apartment sharing have put the affordability of central districts at risk, threatening the future of a socially and functionally mixed inner city. Most local residents respond with feelings of resignation, some of them even catering to the wishes of international visitors by renting out their flats using platforms such as Airbnb. Looking at these developments of gentrification and displacement, it seems as if Amsterdam has forgotten how its beloved inner city was once saved from similar threats.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Tim Verlaan, VU University Amsterdam

Tim Verlaan is assistant professor in Architectural and Urban History at VU University Amsterdam, focussing on the urban renewal agendas of American and Western European cities during the post-war era. After finishing his bachelor degree in history at the University of Amsterdam (2010), he took a master degree in European urbanisation at the Centre for Urban History in Leicester and the Centre for Metropolitan Studies at the Technical University of Berlin (2011, with distinction), after which he wrote a PhD dissertation on the politics of redevelopment in Dutch cities during the 1960s and 1970s (2015). In the autumn of 2016, he was visiting scholar at Fordham University in New York