In Amsterdam the issue is not to waste any valuable space and to use the spare spatial leftovers of classical city practice as good a possible. The hardware and the software of the city are unbalanced in some ways. Economic reasons for city making seem to win constantly from the cultural perspective. The city is changing into a yuppie town. It’s hard to find space for new creative and cultural initiatives and creative minds flow out of this former cultural capital of Europe. At the same time, Amsterdam’s city council is highly attracted by the literature of Richard Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class) and wants to support the creative economy. But there’s no idea how to do so, and projects directly initiated by the policy makers are failing due to a lack of style.
Berlin has plenty of urban residues and niche spaces. Using these spaces is simple and mostly not really forbidden. The local government doesn’t try to control this process, but supports others by not annoying them with rules. Maybe this is one of the reasons why Berlin took the European lead in creative industries over Amsterdam, becoming an interesting creative hotspot on European scale. The lack of jobs creates a situation of intellectual and creative freedom. In this city everybody seems to be an artist, designer or DJ, and space seems to be free.