A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Waterlooplein

Amsterdam

Netherlands

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
May 10, 2002
December 14, 2017

An international-style flea market ("vlooien markt") with 300 vendors offering high-style goods, offbeat finds - and killer displays.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

The market, a favored haunt of flower children in the '60s, is populated with Dutch, Turkish, Pakistani, Ghanaian, Moroccan and Senegalese vendors attracting students, urban curiosity seekers, eccentrics and tourists who peruse aisle ways crammed with trendy wearables and the usual bike locks, t-shirts, and junk (this is a flea market). But there's also an interesting mix of crafts, offbeat clothing and accessories, and no-longer-needed props (gowns, painted backdrops, etc) sold by the theater crowd.

Waterlooplein entrepreneurs are a savvy, sometimes tattooed bunch who have a nose for finding and selling the same imported Asian fashions you see at chic urban department stores for three times the price. An original Rembrandt etching was reportedly found in the back pages of a used book sold at Waterlooplein within the year.

As in any market worth its salt, Waterlooplein has some killer displays, with Bergdorf window dresser-wannabes staging masterfully creative displays - such as a Rajasthani princess' bedroom as backdrop for glittery Indian fabrics, or a camouflaged military hardware store with polished rows of black leather boots, emblems and insignias. It's a fun place to pass through or pass an afternoon.

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities

Sociability

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Once home to the old Jewish market, Waterlooplein has been completely rebuilt since the war and a 'new' open-air market operates in the large, rectangular plaza (plein) in the protective shadow of the city's modern Town Hall/performing arts center.

Related Links & Sources

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*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

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A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET