- Manufacturing the creative city: Symbols and politics of Amsterdam North
- Cities : The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Experimentation and urban innovation are becoming central references in the discourses of local politicians and urban policymakers aiming to trigger spatial change in times of austerity. Emerging electoral parties and political groups frequently make use of symbolic references to advocate new urban agendas, especially when urban change has high socio-political impacts. This paper explores the relation between political change and spatial interventions by examining how symbols are used to carry out post-industrial urban development. Amsterdam North, once a historical stronghold of the Labor electorate, is today the living laboratory for liberal-progressive parties. Despite initial political dissent against transformation in the area, the planning approach employed in the redevelopment of North currently inspires a new urban agenda for the city. Looking at symbolic acts, languages and objects, we explain how this political change was conveyed through symbols that link past images of manufacturing industry and human labor to emerging narratives of creative urbanism and entrepreneurialism.
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