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Urban tales to draw locals to Docklands

22 August 2007 - Tourists and foreign journalists seem to be more aware of developments in the Eastern Docklands than Amsterdammers themselves. In order to draw locals to the area, a website containing ‘urban tales’ has been created.

The website is an initiative of sixteen organisations located in the area, including the Public Library, the Stedelijk Museum, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Panama, the Lloyd Hotel and the Passenger Terminal.

According to one of the website’s stories, Jacques Brel’s song Amsterdam was inspired by a visit to the area. Another story has it that Elvis has been spotted in the neighbourhood five times. Yet another one tells how no fewer than 36 designs for a bridge across the IJ were made in the 19th century, but never executed. Currently, a plan for a cycling bridge is being considered.

Amsterdammers can submit their own local tales. After verification and editing, these will be added to the website, thus creating an archive of stories about the area.

An English version of the website may be developed in the future, but the priority was to attract Amsterdammers. The area’s architecture has earned it an international reputation and foreign journalists visit almost on a daily basis, Lloyd Hotel’s Renate Schepen explained.

But for Amsterdammers, the area is still something of a terra incognita. However, now that the new public library has opened, its terraces are at a five minutes’ walk from the city centre, she said.

Urban Tales website


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