EUROCITIES is a network of more than 140 major European cities. They annually honour city governments with the EUROCITIES Awards for projects that improve life in the city. 'The Free State of Amsterdam' project topped the Participation category this year after the EuroLink Department of the Economic Affairs Division put for project forward for the prize.

The jury was impressed by the wide range of Amsterdammers that benefitted from the project and noted that ideas stemming from the project could be put to good use in the future and could be easily applied in other cities.

The Netherlands claimed a double success this year as Eindhoven was presented with the EUROCITIES Award in the Cooperation category.

'The Free State of Amsterdam'

‘The ‘Free State of Amsterdam’ exhibition invited Amsterdammers to think about the future of the city. Everyone was welcome to tell their story and give their two cents, from expats, business owners and youngsters to homeless people and politicians. This all came together at ‘The Free State of Amsterdam’ exhibition, which was the result of a commission completed by nine urban planning agencies.

The agencies were allowed to let their imaginations run wild, without having to consider restrictions, regulations, city boundaries or traditional notions about city planning. Their ideas and spatial designs for the city were presented in huge scale models at the exhibition which was part of the fourth International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR).

New Structural Vision for Amsterdam

Amsterdammers were also able to contribute their ideas about the future of the city on a special website: (Dutch). The organisers of the new Structural Vision, ‘Amsterdam 2040, Economically Strong and Sustainable’ used the reactions left on the website to create the vision for the spatial development of the city.

Alderperson for Spatial Planning Maarten van Poelgeest commented on the vision saying, “By entering into discussion with residents of the city, we have created a Structural Vision that allows us to visualise the future of Amsterdam. I truly appreciate the close involvement of Amsterdammers in creating this vision.”