Amsterdam changes zoning laws to stop more tourist development

Photo: Senay Botzas

Amsterdam officials have changed the official zoning rules covering 165 city centre buildings to stop more tourist shops and takeaway food outlets appearing, as part of its plans to upgrade the city’s tourist industry.

The change means that buildings which fall under multiple zoning plans can no longer become a tourist-orientated shop or cafe when current rental contracts expire or the property changes hands.

The measure was announced by city economic affairs chief Victor Everhardt on Friday. He says the plan will hold up in court, pointing out that the Council of State earlier backed the city’s decision to stop new tourist shops from opening in some areas.

Research by local Amsterdam media suggests as many as 280 city centre stores may be targeted at tourists.

The city has also taken more steps to alert tourists about the needs of residents in busy areas, such as the red light district, following on from the poster campaign introduced last summer.

Officials are now placing plant tubs and painting hopscotch squares on pavements in an effort to generate more awareness of the fact that people live in the district.

New talks with locals will take place in early 2022, focusing on ways to deal with littering and street dealers.

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