In the Kingdom of Netherlands, Amsterdam is the most populous city. This is because of many reasons. For instance, it is the capital city of Netherlands. Approximately, the population of the city is around 1571234 people. Amsterdam is strategically located in the North Holland province, which is towards the west part of the country. The city forms much of Ramstad’s northern part, which in itself is among the largest metropolitan area in Europe, having approximately seven million people. In essence, the name Amsterdam originates from Amstelredamme. This origin gives the city’s origin as being river Amstel’s dam. Historically, the city originated as a small fishing village. This was during the 12th century. During the Dutch golden age, the city developed to become among the world’s most important. This was largely due to its innovative developments in the field of trade. As a leading center for diamonds and finance during the time, the city tremendously developed. This led to an increase in neighborhoods and suburbs being built. As such, it became an important city in boosting the nation’s economy during the period. According to research and statistics that have been given, Amsterdam is among the world’s most comfortable cities to live. The culture of the city and the hospitality of the people make it a nice place for tourists and visitors to tour. To the Dutch government, Amsterdam plays a crucial role in boosting the economy of the country. As such, it is a highly regarded city, both in Netherlands and all over the world.
The Globalization and World Cities Study Group consider Amsterdam as being among Europe’s top financial centers. In regard to the country’s culture, the city is regarded to be the country’s capital. The city of Amsterdam hosts several institutions of the Dutch, whereas it acts as the home of seven companies that have been ranked among the top 500 companies in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit, in 2012, ranked the city as being the second best for human living in the globe. Innovation and invention are also high in the city, having been ranked in the third position, in the Innovation Cities Index. Amsterdam boasts of the oldest stock exchange in the world, in Amsterdam Stock Exchange. The stock exchange’s strategic position in the city center gives it the ability to attract many people. Annually, the city manages to draw averagely 3.66 million visitors on the international arena.
The use of the word Amsterdam to describe a city was historically started in around 1275. This was as a result of the local people being exempted by the authorities from paying a bridge toll, as a result of their participation in building a bridge. This exemption was made by Count Floris V. During this time the inhabitants of the city were described as 'homines manentes apud Amestelledamme', to simply refer to the people who lived near Amestelledamme. The ancient name connoting the city then evolved from Ammestelledamme and by the year 1327; the place was known as Aemsterdam.
As compared to the other Dutch cities, for instance Rotterdam, Utrecht and Nijmegen, the founding of Amsterdam is relatively recent. To best describe this is the events that took place as early as the 10th century. During this time, the land that was around Amsterdam was being reclaimed. Although this does not connote that there was a settlement at the time, it plays a major role to prove its relatively recent status when compared to the other cities in Netherlands. This land, essentially, was not used for farming purposes. It was mainly used for fuel. Between 1300 and 1306, the city was granted its civil rights. This marked the beginning of tremendous development within the city and facilitated its reputation worldwide. The fact that the inhabitants of the city traded with those from the Hanseatic League further boosted its flourish. Before the adoption of the protestant faith in the latter stages of the 14th century, the city had been termed as being a very important place for the pilgrimage. All this was due to the Holy Communion miracle that was alleged to have occurred in Kalverstraat. Although a number of people have since ignored this miracle, there are signs of remains of the history of the rich pilgrimage. This is proved by the Stille Omgang, which is a silent procession done in civil clothing by the inhabitants of the city.
Historians have credited Amsterdam city as being behind Netherlands’ push for independence. This was during the 16th century. Essentially, during the 16th century, the Dutch staged a rebellion against Spain’s Phillip II and his successors. The Dutch claimed that the reasons for such rebellion were based on the harsh treatment they received from Spain. Religious persecutions by the Spanish Inquisition of the Protestants, the imposition of new taxes that were not favorable to the local citizens and the tenth penny, essentially, did not go well with the Dutch as they perceived these acts as being a form of mistreatment from the Spanish. As a result of this revolt, there erupted war that lasted for eight years, effectively meaning that Dutch gained its independence. Amsterdam, during this time, played a crucial role as it acted as a center for intelligence for the Dutch troops. After the war and the Dutch’s independence later on, Amsterdam became a refugee center for many refugees. Partly, this was because of the religious and intellectual tolerance in the city. This was characterized by a free press in the city of Amsterdam.
Historically, the 17th century has been termed by many people to have been a Golden Age for Amsterdam. This is because of the events that took place at this time, effectively leading the city t become the wealthiest in the world. The worldwide trading network was a project of the Amsterdam city. This is because of the city’s control over the ships that sailed to several parts of the world, including North America, the Baltic Sea and Africa. In the trade that took place during these early times, the merchants that originated from the city held the largest share in two of the largest companies at the time: Dutch West India Company and the Dutch East India Company. Through acquiring oversea possessions, the Dutch colonies were created. The city also managed to establish itself as the continent’s leading point of shipment. Through this, it improved its status as the world’s Financial Centre. The city also holds the record for being the first of its kind in the world to engage in the stock exchange. It achieved this through trading in the shares that it held.
One of the factors that have always played a key role to the development of Amsterdam onto a key city in the world is its pleasing and luxuriant climate. In General, the city has an oceanic climate. This climate is, to a large extent, influenced by the proximity of the city to the North Sea, which is to the west of the city. This makes the city a destination for the westerly winds. This is a very important aspect of the city because it gives tourists an extra reason they ought to be in Amsterdam. The city’s winters are short and cool, with the summers being long and warm. With this climate, living in the city becomes attractive because the people do not get to be exposed to the extreme conditions. Important to note is the fact that the city, and a large part of the North Holland province lies within USDA Hardiness Zone 8b. This geographical positioning characterizes the city with frosts during the northeasterly and the easterly winds which originate from the inner parts of the European continent. The city is surrounded by large bodies of water. Despite this fact, the city has a significant heat-island effect, and the nights do not usually fall too low. Such a climate and the beautiful scenery that is at its disposal is a major attraction to the tourists, who flock the city in millions to take their holidays.
Amsterdam is one of Netherland’s major economic attractions. Tourism in the city plays a major role in determining the country’s foreign exchange policy. In Europe, few places can compete with Amsterdam as a tourist destination center. The popularity of the city sees it receive on an annual basis, in excess of 4.63 million visitors. It is also worth to note that this high number of visitors excludes the day visitors that visit the city on an annual basis. The consistency with which such tourists tour the area makes the city a major source of revenue to the Dutch government and the city. Over the past decade, the number of visitors to the city has been on a constant rise. Most of the visitors to the city are of European origins. In order to further boost the attraction of visitors and tourists to the city, some years are assigned themes, in most cases, relevant to the current events in the world. The beautiful scenery and the tourist sites play a big role in attracting the visitors. This, in result, improves the standards of living since the foreign exchange involved positively reflects on the economy. The tourism industry also brings about inter-cultural interactions and people get to benefit from the new ways of life they adopt. Through the tourism sector, the Dutch gets to benefit in a number of ways. Its foreign relations policy gets to be improved as the relationship with other countries is strengthened and enhanced. To a large extent, this is a positive effect that Amsterdam has brought to the Dutch Government.
A number of factors have brought modern issues in Amsterdam. Culture, for instance, has played a crucial role in shaping the manner in which modern issues are perceived and handled. Amsterdam is renowned for the 16th century organized contests in the reading and acting of poetry. These were in most case organized by the Chamber of Rhetoric. As early as 1638, strong performances were being given in the Ballet Theater. By the time the French theater became popular in the 18th century; Amsterdam had already been appreciated by a number of people and had already become a major attraction t people who liked poetry and literature in general. Despite this early move into the industry, national opera productions were few. This was largely because of the influence the German music had. In order to promote the Dutch opera, the Hollandse Opera of Amsterdam was built in the year 1888. The main reason behind this development was to promote the Dutch opera. Such developments were another source of job opportunities as people were employed to work on the buildings. This impacted the economy positively, despite the fact that his was to a small extent. Developing Dutch opera, the actors would get a chance to act and as a result, the livelihood of the people in the city got boosted. This has a positive effect to the modern world. To date, Amsterdam is considered to be among the most attractive cities in terms of performing arts. The revenue that this sector attracts to the economy of the Dutch government is essential in promoting the nation’s economic development.
One of the modern issues that have had an impact to the city of Amsterdam is about transportation. As expected in the major cities throughout the world, congestion and traffic represent major problems to the citizens. In essence, they delay the movement of people and goods from one region to another, to the detriment of the development of the society. Driving a car in the city center is discouraged and prohibited in Amsterdam. To add up to this, the parking fees are relatively expensive. In normal days, it is not uncommon to see some streets closed or operating one way system. Car-sharing and car-pooling have been highly encouraged by the local government sponsors through such initiatives as Autodelen and Meerijden.nu. This shows the extent to which congestion and traffic jams are big issues to the city of Amsterdam.
As mitigation to the current problem, the Dutch government has engaged in a number of activities that are geared towards easing congestion in the streets to facilitate easy flow of goods and people from one region to another. For instance, the city passed, as its policy, regulations allowing the regional buses and the suburban buses to be operated by EBS and Connexxion bus companies. Several lines have been constructed to ensure that the problem is amicably solved. For instance, four metro lines and sixteen tram lines have been constructed to ease this problem. There are also plans to construct the North/South line, all of which are operated by GVB. One of the major improvements that have been done to reduce this problem is a step taken by the government to provide free ferry services for the transportation of people. Through providing alternative transportation ways, the problem of congestion and traffic jams will be solved at an early stage.
As is the case with all major cities in the world, Amsterdam has a policy that will effectively see it further develop into a powerhouse in almost all sectors. The government and the city management plans to ease congestion have a direct bearing on the development of the city. The high numbers of the tourists that frequent the area need to enjoy quick movement from one place to another in order to be comfortable. Projecting where the city will be ten years from now, it would be wise to imagine that most of the projects that are underway would have been completed. When this happens, current factors that affect the city negatively will be solved, hence promoting the reputation of the city and attracting tourists. This will significantly boost the people’s welfare.
There are several expansion plans to enlarge the city. Importantly, this is because of the lack of enough housing facilities in the city. Several companies have been affected by this since they cannot acquire places for their businesses. In essence, this can be argued to represent a tricky situation since more development is hindered. Without any room for expansion, the growth and development of the city remain in a stagnated situation, and the city cannot attract more tourists and visitors. This negatively affects the economy of the city.
In conclusion, Amsterdam has undergone a complete transformation from a small village to become one of the world’s economic powerhouses. Through proper administration and policing, the city will finally achieve its full potential, and in so doing, it could end up matching the best cities in the world. Despite the early challenges that faced the city, plans are underway to ensure that the city still maintains its reputation as a major tourist attraction center in the world. As such, in ten years’ time, Amsterdam city will be in a different level. The city’s pleasant climate is no doubt a major attraction to the tourists, and the fact that it is historically considered among the greatest cities give it an added advantage for it to move to the next level in ten years’ time.
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