With this proposal, the College meets the demand of coalition parties as set out in the College Agreement, that less money be spent on purchasing prostitution premises in the Wallen district. The municipal council’s wish to keep open more windows, the sex workers’ own interests, and the societal and legal risks were carefully weighed against each other. According to the College, the positive developments in the district in recent years have made it possible to enter a next phase of the project and to keep more windows open.
Various interventions have been made in the 1012 district in recent years, such as closing window brothels and coffeeshops to facilitate a transformation to other businesses. The resulting favourable developments are now permitting a shift to positive measures to further boost the 1012 district. The approach will focus more on preserving or adding functions that enhance the liveability of the area (neighbourhood shops, community provisions).
Less public funding will be required for spatial improvements now that social investors are showing an interest in the area. The planned establishment of ‘1012Inc’ will initially mean an investment in the area of over € 70 million by pension funds and private investors. This offers new means of pursuing the project goals.
Now that the 1012 project is entering another phase, the project organisation can be slimmed down more quickly. In the coming period, tasks will be returned to the Centrum city district, such as the care for public space and the key projects in the area. The aim is to dissolve the project organisation in 2018 and to return all tasks to the relevant municipal departments.
About Project 1012
Project 1012 was launched in 2007 following evidence that the 1012 district harboured serious abuses such as human trafficking, exploitation of sex workers, real estate speculation and money laundering, partly as a result of the concentration of low-quality businesses in the area. These problems could not be tackled with the administrative and criminal approach in place at the time. That is why the decision was made to pursue a spatial transformation of the area, to reduce the number of businesses that are susceptible to criminal involvement and to introduce new functions, in part by transforming premises. In addition to refurbishing streets and improving control, the intervention also consisted of buying up coffeeshops and window brothels.
In 2007 there were 482 window brothels in the inner city, of which some 40% were to be closed, leaving 290 open. Under the new proposal, 46 windows can remain open and 15 windows of the Own Window project can be reopened, bringing the number of open windows in Amsterdam’s inner city to 351.