Why Amsterdam is Building a New Red Light District
Last updated: Jun 5, 2023
This video by Hoog discusses Amsterdam's plans to build a new red light district on the outskirts of the city, as well as the government's previous attempts to clean up the historic red light district and reduce over-tourism.
The video discusses Amsterdam's plans to build a new red light district, which will be one of Europe's largest and most advanced brothels.
The city government commissioned the design in 2020, and it will be located on the outskirts of the city. The video also explores the history of Amsterdam's red light district and the government's attempts to clean it up, which has created a rift among sex workers and the government.
The current mayor has presented several scenarios for the future of the red light district, including changing window prostitution permanently, removing all the rooms and shifting them to other parts of the city, or moving a chunk of the rooms to a new location.
The government has not made it clear how large that chunk will be.
Amsterdam plans to build a new 5,000 square meter high-rise red-light district on the outskirts of the city with hotel rooms, offices, bars, entertainment facilities, a store, and a restaurant.
Project 1012 was a plan to clean up the red-light district by removing low-quality buildings associated with crime, but it had a marginal impact on crime and created a rift among sex workers.
Recent attempts to change the red-light district include banning organized tours, cannabis, and alcohol sales, and introducing entrance gates.
Scenarios for the future of the red-light district include changing window prostitution, removing all rooms, or moving a chunk of rooms to other parts of the city.
The architecture of the new red-light district attempts to convert the linear streets into a circular form and recreate the network of buildings on each floor.
The preferred locations for the new red-light district are ASM in North and around the Guy in Zoud in North Amsterdam, but homeowners have voiced concerns about noise, criminality, and impact on children in the area.
The new building will provide a safer environment for sex workers and the hope is to avoid designing an isolated sex palace.
Scenarios for the Future of the Red-Light District
Scenario 1: Change window prostitution permanently by closing all the curtains in the red-light district while keeping the rooms open.
Scenario 2: Remove all the rooms in the red-light district and shift them to other parts of the city.
Scenario 3: Move a chunk of the rooms in the red-light district to other parts of the city.
The government has not made it clear how large the chunk of rooms to be moved will be.
When rooms get removed, they have to come someplace new.
Designing the New Red Light District
The city of Amsterdam plans to build a new red light district on the outskirts of the city.
They commissioned research into building on a floating pavilion.
The design is meant to anticipate about a hundred individual rooms for sex workers and other entertainment facilities.
The city wants to model Pasha and Villa Tinto when it comes to size and design.
The new erotic center will mix hotel rooms with painting courses, art exhibitions, and a debate center.
The Architecture of the New Red Light District
The architects designed a concept that attempts to convert the linear streets of the red light district into a circular form.
The building looks like a parking garage with a continuous walkway that allows you to walk in the building as you would in the Villa Tinto but circularly as opposed to linearly.
Instead of a floor of the same individual homogeneous hotel rooms, it also attempts to recreate the network of the buildings on the street on each individual floor as well.
The government considered eight regions and narrowed it down to two main locations: ASM in North and around the Guy in Zoud in North Amsterdam.
ASM's preferred location comes from the fact that it's a diverse culturally rich neighborhood.
Location of the New Red Light District
ASM's biggest benefit is that it's considerably hipper than the other section of the city that's under consideration.
Zet is the poshest and most entitled area of Amsterdam and offers two plots.
Zet has access to two metro connections, one that goes from north to south and one that goes from east to west.
Both North and South still have in common that there are nimbies.
Homeowners have voiced concerns about noise, criminality, and impact on children in the area.
Concerns and Safety of the New Red Light District
The mayor of Amsterdam hopes to make a brothel with class and distinction.
Some sex workers have voiced concerns about their own safety.
According to the city government, the building will likely be a safer option than the status quo.
Instead of sparse separated buildings in an overcrowded area, the new building will provide a safer environment for sex workers.
The hope is that they can avoid designing an isolated sex palace.
Plans for a New Red Light District
The new red light district will be located on the outskirts of Amsterdam.
The building will have a centralized security system with clear oversight over who enters and who leaves.
The new building is meant to attract primarily clients, not tourists.
A well-connected but more isolated building will reduce the attraction of the red light district for tourists and attract more clients than in the center, increasing sex workers' incomes.
The new building would also be quieter, as clients want to be private and have as little attention drawn to them as possible.
However, concerns about sex workers' safety arise with a more isolated and quiet area.
Challenges and Concerns
The more isolated and quiet the area, the more concerns about sex workers' safety.
The city already has problems with the number of police and security, and building a new red light district may spread an already thin police force even thinner.
The mayor has faced considerable backlash at town halls and had to postpone making decisions on the erotic center.
A new erotic center may not even be Amsterdam's most controversial plan, as the city government has also proposed replacing its historic public urinals with an advanced AI-powered urinal that comes out of the ground.
The city government has agreed to build an isolated building for the new red light district, but concerns about safety and police force remain.
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