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11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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‘Do something about polluting scooter’

20 February 2008 - Today, the municipality presented its plans to improve air quality. Environmental organisation Milieucentrum Amsterdam (MCA) applauds the plans, but says that mopeds, SUVs, fireplaces and the Port of Amsterdam have been overlooked.

Drastic measures are needed to protect the health of the Amsterdammers and to meet EU criteria by 2010, says Maja van der Voet-Kurbatsch of the MCA. She is ‘very happy’ with the plans presented today. Proposed measures include raising parking fees, banning cars built before 1992 and a scrap subsidy for old cars.

Van der Voet-Kurbatsch says the plans do pay attention to the tuktuk - the three-wheel taxis imported from Thailand. However, they overlook the mopeds and scooters, even though these have been found to be the most polluting form of transportation on short distances. She argues for a stick-and-carrot approach to promote electronic mopeds and to discourage the use of older and more polluting models.

A few years ago, the Oud-West district created subsidies to get pizza chains to switch to electronic scooters for deliveries. This did not work, explains alderman Werner Toonk (VVD), because the batteries were not good enough and the scooters too slow.

“We really tried to get them to switch, but no one applied for a subsidy so we cancelled the subsidy arrangement”, Toonk says. If better batteries were developed, he might consider reintroducing the subsidies.

Van der Voet-Kurbatsch further calls for higher parking fees for SUVs and for measures to clean up the Port of Amsterdam. Ships often keep their engines running when they are in the harbour to provide their own electricity. A little-known source of air pollution are fireplaces and wood-burning stoves.

Van der Voet-Kurbatsch is also pleased that the municipality intends to improve public transport. “When I went to university in Berlin, Amsterdam was seen as a model of good public transport, but that is no longer the case. During the past fifteen years, the focus has been on cost-effectiveness, at the expense of quality”.

MCA, municipality (in Dutch)

UPDATE 21 February - Next week, ZuiderAmstel district is going to present new ecoscooters to be used by its park maintenance department. The initiative is part of a pilot carried out with Westerpark and Zeeburg.


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