Very interesting article. I'm sure something similar could be written about Venice, though the absence of cars and trucks there must slow down the deterioration. As Amsterdam rebuilds infrastructure the central city seems likely to become even more pedestrian-oriented, i.e. tourist-oriented, than it is now. And more industry and non-tourism commerce will locate on dry land farther outside the city.
As Amsterdam rebuilds infrastructure the central city seems likely to become even more pedestrian-oriented, i.e. tourist-oriented
Pedastrian-oriented does not equel tourist-oriented. A lot of cities and villages in The Netherlands have centres that are (almost) only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. Not because these cities hope to attract tourists, but because locals, shoppers and businesses alike, actually like a centre without cars. Large DIY stores, Ikeas and shops like those are usually situated outside of the city centres, with car parking.
Another thread on the same subject:
@ Floris, of course you're right about pedestrian centers in many Dutch (and other European) cities and towns, where the streets were built centuries ago for people and horses and maybe carts but not for motor vehicles. That's part of the appeal of living in Europe as well as visiting there. I remember visiting Wageningen, where my ancestors came from, and enjoying the pedestrian center with few if any non-locals around.
But central Amsterdam, within the inner canal rings, normally has more tourists than most other European cities, at least from what I've read. And they have tried to find ways to control the numbers and the bad behavior of some visitors. COVID may have "solved" this problem for awhile, but I have to think the numbers will eventually return. And the absence of cars will encourage that and, mostly, improve the visitor experience.
You’re right Dick, central Amsterdam is normally full of tourists.
Central Amsterdam is/was full of tourists, but that doesn't mean that pedestrianizig canal-side streets means making them more "tourist-friendly".