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Category: Netherlands

Could Almere provide a glimpse of what living in cities will be like in the future?

BBC »

Almere’s evolution is inspiring other cities too, by providing examples of innovative urban planning in action. “Professionals – politicians, architects, city planners – come from all over the world to look and learn from Almere,” says JaapJan Berg, citing particular interest from China. “They have been working on new towns and cities there on a completely different scale – places like Shenzhen. In the UK, I would mention Milton Keynes, and in France, Marne-la-Vallee.”

MVRDV, meanwhile, have drawn on principles from Almere in their ongoing redevelopment of the city centre of the Dutch city of Eindhoven, which aims at allow that city to expand significantly, yet still retain an air of “cosiness”. Cues from Almere include creating green city centre living spaces and using brightly-coloured buildings in striking shapes to enliven the feel of the cityscape.

Principles learned in Almere are also being deployed on a smaller scale in the little Dutch village of Overschild, which saw almost 80% of its homes badly damaged as a result of earthquakes triggered by fracking in the area.

Key ideas trialled in Almere that are being introduced here include the chance for residents to design their own new homes, alongside collective decision making on infrastructure and facilities. “Residents were asked what their wishes were and how they felt the village should look like in 10 years – [then] we have given the residents a toolbox which will give them the help and inspiration needed to take the future into their own hands,” says Winy Maas. »

Turkey summons ambassadors from 10 countries over their call to release activist Osman Kavala

Osman Kavala, 64, has been in Turkish prisons since October 2017. He is being held on charges of espionage and attempting to overthrow the government, stemming from his alleged involvement in the 2013 Gezi protests and the 2016 coup attempt.

Kavala’s imprisonment has been condemned by human rights groups and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered his release.

On Monday, the fourth anniversary of Kavala’s detention, the embassies of the Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United States released a joint statement calling for his immediate release.

“The continuing delays in his trial, including by merging different cases and creating new ones after a previous acquittal, cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system,” the statement said.

» France 24 / DW / Aljazeera / Euractive

The Netherlands is ‘descending into a narco-state’

France 24 »

Dutch PM Mark Rutte has got a new security detail, after police say that he’s at risk of an attack from organised crime syndicates. Some experts see similarities between the rise of violent drug-related crime in the country and drug cartels in Colombia and Mexico.

France 24 (again) »

Dutch PM under protection as the ‘Mocro Mafia’ drug cartel sows fear in the Netherlands

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been placed under police protection in response to fears of an attack by the Mocro Mafia (Moroccan mafia), a North African criminal organisation linked to cocaine trafficking, two months after Dutch investigative journalist Peter R. de Vries was murdered in Amsterdam.

 

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