Amsterdammers’ objections force delay to erotic center development
Complaints from local residents and entrepreneurs have delayed Amsterdam’s plans for an erotic center aimed at reducing nuisance in the city center. Instead of announcing the three possible locations for this center this month, mayor Femke Halsema announced that she postponed the decision until January, Parool reports.
Last year, Halsema published a list of eight locations being investigated for suitability for the erotic center. The idea was to narrow the list down to three areas in the fall. But instead, the mayor announced that more time is needed and that different locations may be shortlisted than the eight already proposed. “With the arrival of a new city council, we are having new talks with aldermen. We are checking again whether other locations are possible,” Halsema told the city council.
But according to Parool, a survey of the districts shortlisted for the future erotic center showed that complaints from locals postponed the decision.
One of the eight shortlisted areas was the RAI. “We already did some calculations and research when Halsema designated us as the location. The area's real estate value will fall, and congresses don’t want an erotic center as an entrance,” RAI director Paul Riemens said to the newspaper. “We don’t want this. It will cause so much misery. The RAI is an entrance to the city for visitors, but Amsterdam also meets the world here through conferences and events. I don’t think it’s a good idea, and I have also reported that to the municipality.”
Parool heard similar complaints from the Oost and Zuidoost districts. Locals are afraid of nuisance, crime, and misery.
Part of that is due to the fact that the plans to relocate Amsterdam’s sex workers stem from the municipality’s desire to reduce nuisance in the city center. Neighborhoods can’t see the erotic center as an asset, even when it’s presented as a bustling place with restaurants and theaters and safe workplaces for sex workers.
Earlier this year, sex workers also spoke out against plans for the erotic center. They worried their safety would deteriorate if their workplace were moved to the city's outskirts.