Amsterdam pushes millions into managing crowds

Amsterdam's city hall the Stopera (Photo: MichielverbeekNL/Wikimedia Commons)Amsterdam's city hall the Stopera (Photo: MichielverbeekNL/Wikimedia Commons)

Amsterdam is investing millions into better managing the ever increasing number of people in the city, both residents and visitors, and into improving quality of life in the city, Finance alderman Udo Kock announced with the publication of the city's budget plans for 2017. 

"We are investing heavily in leading the growth of the city on the right track and keeping the city attractive and livable for residents and visitors." Kock said in a press release. "Millions extra will go to enforcement and safety, the preparation of a bridge over the IJ and new IJ ferries, new schools, sports facilities and integration of refugees. For the Amsterdammer, the drinking water rate and sewerage charge is dropping."

The city put 160 million euros aside for investing in education locations - building new schools and renovating existing ones. €15 million will be invested in sports facilities. 7.5 million euros will go towards making sure existing facilities, such as traffic lights and roads, can keep up with the growing city. 

Amsterdam is developing a new event terrain in Westpoort and will invest in reducing nuisance from existing event locations. 2.25 million euros will go towards that next year. The city is also investing in market places, to make them more professional and attractive - 3.3 million euros per year until 2019. From 2019 the city will charge passengers of cruises tourism tax. And from next year city tour operators will have to pay entertainment tax for their guests. 

The Dutch capital is investing an extra 3.8 million euros into helping refugees in the city integrate as quickly as possible. €3 million will go to temporary housing for refugees and 1.9 million euros to special aid for those who need it. The city is also pushing 2 million euros into its so-called bed, bath and bread accommodation. 

The city is investing 15.9 million euros into enforcement in 2018 and 2019, 4.1 million euros will be a structural investment. This money will go to hiring more enforcers on the street and training them. 1.8 million euros will be invested in tackling illegal vacation rentals. And 1.7 million euros into enforcement and supervision on taxis. 

Kock also presented Amsterdam's annual accounts for 2016 on Wednesday. The city ended the year with a positive income statement of 104.4 million euros. The accounts were approved by the ACAM, the accountant.