AMS Science for the City #11 – MSc MADE Knowledge videos

Would you live in a floating city? And do you think Amsterdam is being turned into an amusement park?
During the 11thedition of AMS – Science for the City, in collaboration with Pakhuis de Zwijger, MSc MADE first year students were given the opportunity to present the knowledge clips they were assigned to produce, in addition to the academic paper they submitted for the Metropolitan Challenges course. Two knowledge clips were shown during the evening, one about “Floating Cities” and the other one about the “Disneyfication” of Amsterdam.

As the students work on defining and understanding the metropolitan challenges Amsterdam is facing today, this series of knowledge clips allows them to share their first observations on topics such as urban mobility, tourism, food, water, waste, energy and health. During the evening two videos were presented, one on “Floating Cities” and the other one on the “Disneyfication” of Amsterdam. After the viewing, the audience and the students engaged in discussions with a panel of experts about the subjects addressed in the videos:

Floating cities
The city of Amsterdam is experiencing several types of growing pressures. On the one hand, its population is estimated to grow by 50.000 people in the next seven years. As a consequence, housing prices have been rising extremely and property prices have surged by 19,3% between 2017 and 2018 alone. Additionally, tourist activity will continue to expand.
On the other hand, we are confronted with rising sea levels due to climate change. There is therefore a need to mitigate our footprint by using sustainable energy sources and to transition to more eco-friendly household practices.

How can a city provide affordable, attractive and eco-friendly housing? Could living in floating houses be a solution? On what scale? And is the City of Amsterdam ready for it?

The “Floating Cities” video was presented by student and video co-producer Nikolaus Houben, and the following experts took part in the discussions:

  • Ties Reijcken (TU Delft):researcher Integrated Delta & Flood Risk Systems Development from TU Delft
  • Sascha Glasl (Space & Matter):Architect and researcher, co-founder
  • Mirjana Milanovic (City of Amsterdam): Spatial planning and sustainability


Amsterdam is under the threat of “Disneyfication”. The city begins to look like an amusement park and in 2016 Amsterdam received almost 18 million visitors, which in itself is more than the entire population of the Netherlands. A lot of the city’s historical heritages have been commercialized for the sake of the tourist industry.
Is it true that a “Disneyfied” Amsterdam leaves residents with no room for a normal lifestyle? How can we promote the preservation of Amsterdam’s historical significance and its quality of life?

The “Disneyfication” video was presented by student and video co-producer Matthew Bearden, and the following experts took part in the discussions:

  • Dennis Boutkan (Raadslid PvdA Amsterdam): expert in economic business, tourism and balance in the city
  • Roel Mostert (Managing Director Holland Inbound): expert in international destination marketing and -sales, trade promotor and international media
  • Carla Hoffschulte (Ruimte voor Communicatie): Researcher and core team member Amsterdam in Progress