The iconic windows of the Red Light District in Amsterdam, Source: Depositphotos

Amsterdam authorities want to move Red Light District to a skyscraper in the south of the city

Amsterdam authorities want to move Red Light District to a skyscraper in the south of the city

Most residents aren’t too happy about the idea, though, and neither are the sex workers

The Amsterdam city government announced that it has picked a location for the long-discussed Erotic Center, which is meant to replace the popular but controversial Red Light District in the downtown De Wallen area. The proposed location will be a high-rise situated on Europaboulevard near the ring road in the southern district (Zuid) of the Dutch capital.

The move of the Red Light District to a new location is part of the local authorities’ drive to clean up the image of Amsterdam and rebrand the city as a living, breathing, modern urban area which cares for its residents and wants to welcome a more refined type of tourists in the future.

What’s the development horizon for the Erotic Center?

Curiously enough, however, it is the very residents (for whom the city is aiming to make the De Wallen historic district more livable) that seem to be vastly opposed to moving the Red Light District.

Back in June, a survey among the capital’s residents found that only about 20 percent were in favour of the Erotic Center proposal. Roughly 35 percent oppose the plan, and another 18 percent strongly oppose the idea.

For residents of the Zuid district, the shift would mean simply transferring all the noise, crowding and troubles that the Red Light District generated to an area which is more family and business-oriented. Sex workers themselves are also largely opposed to the transition having formed an alliance of sorts with the residents’ organizations protesting the move.

If implemented, the transfer of the district and the disappearance of the glowing red windows characteristic of the Red Light will not happen overnight. The aim of the government is to construct a centre which apart from the services of the sex workers will also offer things like tantric workshops, feminist lectures and cultural events.

For now, the plan of the government is to have a broader discussion about this in the City Council first thing in the new year. If changes go ahead as planned, the previewed horizon for the opening of the Erotic Centre will be the year 2031.



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