Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999
From: Paul Treanor

Amsterdam has now closed the last stage of the project, with a town meeting at Felix Meritis. I did not go, it was on SALTO, within 2 minutes the chair had ordered someone to shut up, that seemed more or less representative of the whole TVA project. My cynical comment has been added to the site

If you want the final report mail, but I never heard anything more of your urban futures project so I assume it is dead.

Paul Treanor

Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999
From: Paul Perry

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your note. I've just checked the URL you provided but I got an error. Is it well-formed?

The Amsterdam 2.0 project is still alive and well. A book is in the works and we've got an extremely simple presentation up at the moment in a show in De Appel. We've adopted your credo: 'cities are for change not for people'...

Once again, is there any chance that we could meet?

-- Paul Perry

Date: Thurs, 25 Feb 1999
From: Paul Treanor

I picked up the folder for De Appel, but I will go there first before I comment. I did look again at the Amsterdam 2.0 site and the Constitution. All kinds of source are named but it is clear which political tradition this kind of article comes from:

1.2.8 The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended; no bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.

The author of that grew up in The United Staets of America, without a shadow of doubt. I suggets you look at this for a comparison

More comments when I have been to De Appel

Paul Treanor

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999
From: Paul Treanor

I saw unlimited nl-2, I see the text material of Amsterdam 2.0 there is the same as that already online.

The general intention of starting up Amsterdam 2.0 (or any similar project) is, according to the presentation, to establish a new stability after a period of 15 to 20 years. If I had to summarise what happens before that time, from t=0 to t=20, I would call it a free market in cities. As you know, this is my fundamental objection to the free market (and all similar liberal structures): that they do indeed have the centering effect, which you refer to. Many libertarians see this as precisely the great advantage of markets and quasi-markets - that they reveal, or cause to emerge, some Order which was previously concealed, invisible, or non-emerged. Many libertarians also think this idea is new. In fact it is derived from scholastic philosophy: although if someone told me it is much older, I would not be surprised. The word evolution is often used to describe this, and the word emergence itself. The Amsterdam 2.0 presentation also speaks of evolution.

At unlimited nl-2 there are books and texts, which give some idea of the background ideas. I would compare those to the latest documents from the planning department. In the Amsterdam case, the 3 interim reports of the TVA project. Although these are internal planners reports, they indicate an Amsterdam which is in some ways different from what you propose, but also draws on some similar attitudes. (The historicist analysis of the last centuries, for instance). It would be interesting to see the Rotterdam version, from their planning department. In fact, there have been about 30 future studies/scenarios in the last few years in the Netherlands, and no doubt many more to come in Europe, in 1999 and 2000. However, I do not know of any comprehensive list.

If you took some of these official studies, and placed then alongside your list ofpossible cities, would it reveal 2 distinct mentalities? To some extent I think the offical planners could live with your list: but that may be a defect of the list. I think no official could live with for instance the proposal for an anti-racist airport

Recently I tried to compare plan strategies for the Netherlands with the situation in Estonia. I relaised I could not make the comparison, from the future study Nederland 2030, because so much of the content was specific to Netherlands planning-and-developers culture. A planner here faces questions like: how can I package a 3000-bungalow second-home complex as "ecological"? Estonian planners face questions like: how to provide services to rural areas with densities 40 times less than here, to declining aging populations, with about 5 times less resources per head. The makelaarsfolder style, of NL urban and regional planning, is very irritating. It was with this kind of obstacle that I was concerned, in An Urban Ethic of Europa. Despite the presentation of Schie 2.0, I did not see this issue raised in unlimited nl-2.

At present, I have been trying to obtain information on a document which is being prepared for the Council of Europe, the first attempt at an official plan guideline for the whole continent. It will be presented during Expo 2000 in Hannover. I fear that this proto-plan will contain many of the defects of offical plans, and future studies for cities and regions. The qustion is whether Amsterdam 2.0 and projects like it are in oppositon to that "official future", or whether they stand aside, in an own world of art/media centres.

Paul Treanor

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 1999
From: Paul Treanor

I added this site which I had planned already, after visiting De Appel. Together with the mail I sent it forms a reaction. Four kinds of conservatism.

Incidentally if you are interested in artifical languages, you should look at the sites on (failed) euro-languages at Language Futures Europe

Paul Treanor

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