Amsterdam south says it is unsuitable as location for ‘erotic centre’

Amsterdam wants to relocate sex workers from the city centre. Photo: Depositphotos
New image released of potential erotic centre  Image: Amsterdam council

The southern district of Amsterdam does not believe two proposed locations near the RAI business centre are suitable for a planned erotic centre.

In ‘concept advice’ sent to the district council, the executive body says that an erotic centre with 100 brothel windows and 1.5 million visitors a year would have all kinds of negative effects.

‘We put the facts in a row, looked carefully at what it would mean for these two locations, and on that basis found they are unsuitable for the proposed erotic centre,’ said Bart Vink, head of the Amsterdam-Zuid district.

‘The traffic situation is a problem, parking is a problem, and agreements with locals and with the government like the Zuidasdok construction would make it difficult. It would mean a doubling of visitors in this area, and we really don’t see that happening.’


The centre has been proposed by Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema, who wants to reduce nuisance in the red light district, improve the position of sex workers and combat criminality with an ‘erotic centre that has some class and distinction’.

After eight initial proposals in the east and west were dismissed last year, in February the city announced a shortlist of three locations, two in the south and one at the NDSM wharf in the north.

The south, which has major, critical residents such as the European Medicines Agency and NH Hotels, has now outlined why it is also unsuitable, in an 11-page analysis. ‘After having brought additional facts and information into the picture, the executive board concludes that this proposal is not appropriate for these locations,’ it sums up.

Femke Halsema’s plans for the city

Love hotels

Instead, it proposes smaller ‘love hotels’, locations with up to 20 windows, and in new-build locations rather than ones with an established population.

The local executive says that extra traffic will cause bottlenecks and jams, there is not enough parking because the RAI is also used for conferences, and the proposed locations on city land at De Groene Zoom and Europaboulevard do not have adequate taxi access.

There are secondary schools with a potentially vulnerable population in the area, it points out, and it is already busy. ‘The events and activities in the RAI already create a lot of nuisance for residents, businesses and schools,’ says the advice document. The plan would be ‘abrasive’ for local cohesion, delay other development and housing plans and bring ‘a risk of litigation and claims for damages,’ it claims.

No from Noord

Earlier this month, the northern district council executive issued advice saying the NDSM wharf was ‘absolutely not a suitable location’ for the proposed centre – which Amsterdam residents describe as potentially Europe’s largest brothel.

At a public meeting of local people with the mayor at the end of March, one woman suggested that the city opera could be moved to Noord (north) and the area that it currently occupies next to Amsterdam city council in city hall used for the erotic centre.

The district elected councils have until July to submit formal reactions to Amsterdam city council, which is expected to take these into account in voting for whether plans for the erotic centre will go ahead at any of the three proposed sites.

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