Amsterdam, Centraal Station

This scene has not changed a great deal in a century, but none of the changes are improvements. A hideous concrete-blockhouse-style building has blotted the center foreground and blocks the view of the gorgeous train station from which this photograph was taken. There are many more signs, none of them attractive. Not a great many new buildings have been constructed, but most of the modifications have been poor. The street leading away from the station is the Damrak, one of the most important streets in Amsterdam. The right-hand side of it is now devoted to souvenir shops, all of which have erected hideous signs on their façades.

The hand railings have been replaced and improved.

When are we going to stop making our cities worse, and start making them better? Amsterdam is generally better than most cities in this regard, but the general trend is still downwards here, as nearly everywhere else. Doesn't anybody care?

Please Wait
City Design Home

Text ©2001-2002 J.Crawford