Peter, a resident of Weesper Street in the center of town, is angry. He takes on the « rage » which would animate the town hall of Amsterdam, led by the elected ecologist Femke Halsema, and at its symbol politics “. He accuses him in particular of having placed flower boxes in the middle of his street, with the« obsession » to drive out the cars for the benefit of the inhabitants. “I am a local! But not one of those sores to which, according to the Greens and their friends, it would be necessary to “return the city””, fulminates Peter, seated in a Pub, a neighborhood bistro.
The next day, the Weesper Street affair made the front page of The Parole, the Amsterdam daily. Paramedics and firefighters who went to a disaster were stopped by the flower boxes, which they had to move. The mobility assistant is now summoned by the opposition to submit a daily report on the obstacles to traffic in the capital. Peter exults: “We will win and we will also win the battle for De Wallen! »
Close to its street, which borders it to the west, this area known as the “ramparts”, long enclosed, covers approximately 6,000 square meters in the oldest part of the Dutch capital. Today, it is at the heart of a controversy between its inhabitants, the town hall and the sex workers, who have ensured its fame. Not to mention the other citizens of the town, who all seem to have an opinion as to its future.
One million inhabitants, 18 million tourists
In 2008, Ms Halsema’s predecessors rebranded De Wallen and turned it into a global brand: The Red Light District, ‘red light district’, ‘red light district’ like the neon tubes that light up shop windows exposing hundreds of prostitutes . In terms of tourism, the success has been resounding: in 2022, eighteen million tourists came to Amsterdam – which today has just under a million souls. And the vast majority obviously did not want to miss the parade along the canals and alleys once evening came.
From now on, the mayor and her deputies, socialists and liberal leftists, want to put the kibosh on what they call the “overtourism”, that low-cost travel and the Airbnb phenomenon have encouraged. Too many people, too much noise, too much incivility, not enough concern for the approximately ten thousand inhabitants of the area, where, according to the authorities, newcomers could be attracted provided that it is reformed and more secure.
You have 75.31% .. “”.