1. What makes you happy in this city?

Local

Amsterdam‘s tranquil, relaxed atmosphere always makes me smile. Whenever I am abroad and return to this city, I realize how nice it is. For all its flaws, it has so many good things to offer, and every once in a while I stop, look up and realize how beautiful Amsterdam’s inner-city buildings are. Most people look straight ahead or down and will see the canals, the narrow streets and the ridiculous amount of bikes all over the city. But it is good to look up and not just see a different Amsterdam, but also see a different perspective on everything.

Visitor

Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Every time I step out of my apartment, I feel like I’m hanging out in my outdoor living room. It’s super cozy and romantic; old meets new, and wherever you go you’re surrounded by nature.

2. WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN THIS CITY?

Local

Amsterdam has a rich culture and cultural attractions–the recently revamped Stedelijk Museum is now open (for contemporary arts) and soon the Rijksmuseum will open its doors again. It is a city that inspires me a lot through its history and contemporary attitude towards the Arts and life.

Visitor

The thing that inspires me the most is how people here create new office and living spaces. The way they combine smart architecture and nature is just incredible. The reflection of the water on the big window front felt to me like art created by nature and enabled by the human hand.

3. WHAT WORKS FOR YOU VERY WELL IN THE CITY?

Local

Amsterdam’s size works very well. It is small enough to bike anywhere, and it is big enough to have a lot to do. There are always a lot of events happening, and its vibrant tourism industry ensures that there is an influx of new people every day. It is an exciting city, but at the same time a very homey city.

Visitor

Almost everyone uses a bike instead of a car, even if it’s cold or rainy. For me, this is the perfect environment. I stay fit, and I don’t have to deal with exhaust gases that much.

4. WHAT WOULD YOU DO BETTER?

Local

Parts of Amsterdam are built on very unstable ground, and the city is surrounded by water, so everything has been built as compact and dense as possible. The problem is that in modern times the city is polluted with bikes. They are literally parked any- and everywhere. Cars are also in abundance, jamming traffic on its narrow canals.

Visitor

I would create a bigger playground for young talented artists, so they can express themselves with their urban and contemporary art in a presentable space. Recently the Stedelijk, a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design opened, so we’re moving in the right direction.

5. HOW WOULD YOU DO IT BETTER?

Local

I’d convert vacant buildings, often abandoned factory spaces and office buildings, into artistic and creative hubs. It would provide budding freelance creatives with affordable space to set up an office, or allow artists¬– such as sculptors, painters, artisans of furniture making, photographers who need studio space, and so on–to utilize the space to create their works. The amended picture illustrates how a vacant space could be transformed for the aforementioned purpose, but it could also be used as a temporary or even permanent gallery.

Visitor

Sharing is caring. I wish we had a better system to share our cars, boats and bikes in order to protect the environment and to strengthen humanity.