Amsterdam is a small city with big dreams. For a big international city, the city is fairly quiet. Amsterdam is a photographer’s dream and I always have my camera close at hand when visiting the Dutch capital. My favourite images capture urban living alongside the canals and warehouse style heritage Amsterdam buildings, especially in the neighbourhood of Jordaan. There are many notable and admirable aspects to Amsterdam living, but the bicycle lifestyle remains my favourite. If you are sitting on a canal on a warm summer day, it’s not uncommon to hear the rumblings of a motorboat. Many Amsterdamers own boats, large and small, and enjoy any excuse to cruise the canals, some of them even live in the boats docked on narrow side canals. The sounds of music and laughter are common, coming from the boats below, surrounding coffee shops or the bars above.
What is also unique about Amsterdam is its focus on urban design. Politicians, urban designers and developers have been working together to prioritise three critical factors for urban balance: connectivity, liveability and trade. Amsterdam has always had a global reputation as an open and diverse place with a rich history, vibrant culture and strong identity. But in order to attract and retain decision makers, investors, top designers, skilled innovators and entrepreneurs, Amsterdam is re-defining what it means to live and work in a city fit for the 21st century. Liveability and connectivity are key to its success. The city remains one of my favourite urban hot spots in the world.