December 1, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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Battle for public spaces: Cities demand the return of the sidewalk from restaurants after Corona

Battle for public spaces: Cities demand the return of the sidewalk from restaurants after Corona

commercial vs generic

“The crux of this is the conflict between what citizens need in terms of public space, infrastructure and facilities, and what is swallowed up by business parties and tourists,” says Jan van der Burg, professor of tourism in Leuven and Venice. “It’s a battle for space between commercial and public, which you also see with shared scooters and delivery services.”

The professor notes that if clear rules about spatial use are not imposed on private parties from politics, regions are either underused or overused. The red light district is an example of the latter.

Pre-areola pressure

Back in Amsterdam, where some entrepreneurs say they were surprised by Halsema’s decision. Café Fonteyn owner Rosa Berger speaks on their behalf: “I heard about it on Het Parool. The decision came quickly. We don’t face the same crowds that the mayor did. The entrepreneurs here have identified additional staff and spent money on additional tables but the decision will take effect within a week.” without consulting.”

“The balcony expansion has always been associated with the quality of life in the neighbourhood,” a Halsema spokesperson said. “And this applies to all neighbourhoods. If there is any inconvenience anywhere in West Amsterdam, we are to withdraw the permit as well. It was part of the agreements from the start.”

Burger acknowledges this, but says it should have been moved beforehand and more frankly. “We don’t want to go into pre-corona pressure either. I think the municipality is taking such measures because there is a shortage of personnel in the enforcement and the police. Now it seems that the responsibility has shifted to the catering industry.”

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mop approach

Professor van der Burgh understands that businessmen are angry. “They have already relied on it, the municipality’s holding policy is annoying. The city of Amsterdam could have seen this happen much earlier.”

At the same time, Van der Borg believes that companies should realize that they are taking advantage of public spaces by taking pieces of sidewalks and parking spaces, but offering little or nothing in return. “Locals suffer the inconvenience and pay an additional sewage tax.”

According to van der Burg, similar balcony permits have not been withdrawn (yet) in other European cities. “Private pressure is greater there.”