News of: Tuesday, April 26 2005,

Public participation Amsterdam houseboats results in chaos

An evening for public participation, organized by the authorities of Amsterdam Centrum resulted in chaos, yesterday.

The public meeting, in the City Hall, attracted many more visitors than expected. The atmosphere before the meeting grew so aggressive, that it was decided to cancel the meeting before it started. The hall was full with 200 visitors, 300 more visitors still standing outside to be let in.

The meeting was supposed to give citizens a say in the policy of Amsterdam Centrum regarding houseboats.
Amsterdam Centrum wants to move a number of houseboats to other canals.
Many inhabitants of canal houses are opposed to houseboats in front of their houses, because they find them ugly.

The Vereniging Vrienden van de Binnenstad (Society of Friends of the Inner City), an active lobby group aiming to protect the historic city centre, had spread a pamphlet among canal house inhabitants, urging them to visit the evening. This had appartently the effect that more people wanted to visit the evening.

A second public debate evening will be organized in June.