Amsterdam, The Netherlands should definitely be on list. This is why:
Do GOOD-er hub—
Pakhuis de Zwijger (www.dezwijger.nl) is the most dynamic hub for creativity and innovation in Amsterdam. It is a centre where people with diverse professional as well as social backgrounds can meet, work, discuss and exchange ideas about the city. Located in an old warehouse looking out over the majestic IJ, Pakhuis de Zwijger aims to actively engage people on the big challenges of the City of Amsterdam. These programmes are developed by the programming team in partnership with about 100 partners in town and more then 30.000 online members.
Pakhuis De Zwijger brings programmes on the creative industries and urban development. De Zwijger brings together citizens, government officials and the market to co-create the future of our city. A great number of initiatives in Amsterdam is bundled in this magazine, that was recently issued by Pakhuis de Zwijger: http://issuu.com/pakhuisdezwijger/docs/nieuw_amsterdam_magazine_-_issue__1.
- Geef om de Jan Eef (Take Care of the ‘Jan Eef’, www.geefomdejaneef.nl) is a citizen led initiative in a shopping street called the Jan Evertsenstraat in West Amsterdam. The project was started after a local shop owner had died in a robbery of his jewelry store. The idea: if the citizens living in the area take their responsibility and do their shopping in the Jan Evertsen this will create a healthy environment for entrepreneurs to start a shop and the street will improve. With one day pop-up shops Geef om de Jan Eef shows what the street could be like. Geef om de Jan Eef is a great success: the diversity of shops has increased, there is less vacancy and people feel safe and motivated to shop in the Jan Evertsenstraat again.
- ARTCHES Street Museum of Modern Art aims to liven up the dull Amsterdam Sloterdijk and the neighbouring Westpoort area. The ultimate goal is urban regeneration and community involvement through the ARTCHES project that covers the successful symbioses of international and local art with architecture.
- Tostifabriek (www.detostifabriek.nl) is a living installation showing the origins of the food on your plate. Making a tosti sounds simple but is it really if you go back to the source- raising the pig for the ham , the cow for the cheese and growing the grain for your bread?
- Hutspot (www.hutspotamsterdam.com) is a warehouse for creative producers. Hutspot searches for new and interesting brands, designers, artists and entrepreneurs, offering them the chance to expose their products in their own space within the shop.
- Javatas (www.javatas.nl) is an initiative by shop owners in the Indische Buurt, East Amsterdam. It is a bag (‘tas’) filled with recipes and a shopping route. The idea is to buy groceries at local shop owners in the Javastraat instead of at the two but supermarkets on both ends of the street.
- Warehouse Weekender (www.amsterdamroest.nl) shows 2400m2 of work by photographers, artists, designers, beer brewers and other creatives.
- Neighbourfoodmarket on the Westergasterrein (www.neigbourfoodmarket.nl) , one Sunday each month food lovers gather to sell and taste the best local food in town. With over one hundred food stalls it’s the largest and tastiest food market in town.
- Other great stuff to check out: Rollende Keukens (‘kitchens on wheels’, www.rollendekeukens.nl), Noorderparkkamer (socio-cultural hub in North Amsterdam www.noorderparkkamer.nl), De Ceuvel (on-land harbour rising from a polluted brownfield, www.ceuvel.nl), the first ever 3D-printed canalhouse (www.dusarchitects.nl) and NDSM-lab (www.ndsm.nl).
- Magneetfestival (www.magneetfestival.nl) is our local version of Burning Man. Taking place on a large empty plot of land at the fringes of the city the Magneetfestival offers a free space for creative spirits, where every visitor is a co-creator of his own festival.
- Very typical for Amsterdam: its dress-up parties and its world famous dance music. Best parties in town: Valtifest, Canal festival, Gay parade, Amsterdam Dance Event and of course Kingsday (formerly known as Queensday).
- Amsterdam Urban Innovation Week, formerly known as the PICNIC Festival for technogy and innovation.
Pick-me-up of choice
Beer has been our local drink since time immemorial. You all know Heineken and Amstel, both local beers. Recently a growing number of delightful local micro breweries has seen the light. Do taste the delightful beers by Brouwerij het IJ, De 7 Deugden, De Bierfabriek, De Bekeerde Suster, De Prael, De Vriendschap and community brand Bolo Bier from Bos & Lommer. Or savour indie beers Oedipus and Halbe Beer- the bottles are collectors items!