Debate Green Fingers

Ever since the period in which Amsterdam’s urban form was laid down in the AUP, and particularly since the fifties, planners have thought increasingly in terms of ‘a city with lobes’. That is to say: a city with a core from where separated garden suburbs fan out.
In the original AUP, Amsterdam’s green fingers are little more than residual areas. Today, however, the function of these green areas is very different. The green fingers or wedges are important ecologically and for recreation. They also have a major cultural-historical value.
Because the green fingers penetrate deep into the city, they are attractive and easily accessible, but they are also extremely vulnerable. In particular the edges are becoming increasingly untidy due to the encroaching city with its infrastructure. As a result, the environs of Amsterdam make a fragmented and chaotic impression.
Key questions are: what are the ambitions and how can they be realized? How can the increasing untidiness be dealt with? What is the role in this process of the many participating parties – city districts, peripheral municipalities, the province, but also residents, farmers, allotment gardeners and conservationists?
In the presence of those directly involved, three speakers explained the importance of Amsterdam’s wedge structure. Tom Bloemers spoke about the archaeology of the wedges, Rob van Leeuwen discussed the development of the lobate plan and councillor Marijke Vos presented her ideas regarding the future of the green environs.