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Government of Amsterdam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Government of Amsterdam consists of several territorial and functional forms of local and regional government. The principal form of government is the municipality of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The municipality's territory covers the city of Amsterdam as well as a number of small towns. The city of Amsterdam is also part of several functional forms of regional government. These include the Waterschap (water board) of Amstel, Gooi en Vecht, which is responsible for water management, and the Stadsregio (City Region) of Amsterdam, which has responsibilities in the areas of spatial planning and public transport.

The municipality of Amsterdam borders the municipalities of Diemen, Weesp, Abcoude, Ouder-Amstel and Amstelveen in the south, Haarlemmermeer and Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude in the west, and Zaanstad, Oostzaan, Landsmeer and Waterland in the north.

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  • ✪ Why The Netherlands Isn't Under Water
  • ✪ Amsterdam Travel Guide
  • ✪ Dutch War Against The Sea: The Afsluitdijk - Longest Dam In Europe
  • ✪ Amsterdam in 4K (UHD)
  • ✪ How to use a MyCiTi bus in and around Cape Town


This episode of Real Engineering was brought to you by Skillshare, home to over 16,000 classes that could teach you a new life skill. The first 500 people to sign up with the link the description will get a 2 month free trial. On a cold and stormy morning in January 1953, the Princess Victoria ferry was preparing to leave its dock in Stranraer on the south-west coast of Scotland, despite gale warnings. An hour into its journey its captain radioed for help as the storm forced the ferry on its side, making it impossible to board the lifeboats. Of the 176 people aboard the princess victoria, only 43 survived, but there was more tragedy to come, this storm was headed south towards the Netherlands, pushing the seas with it, and with the Moon and Sun causing even higher tides, this storm would severely test the flood defences of the Netherlands, which was still getting back on its feet after the Second World War. The storm would ultimately claim the lives of 1,835 people in the Netherlands, along with 200,000 cattle and flooding 2,000 square kilometres of land, destroying 43,000 homes forcing and 72,000 people to flee. Today, we are going to learn why this happened and how it would spark the construction of one of the seven modern wonders of the world: The Dutch Delta Works. After World War 2, the meandering levees on the coast of the Netherlands had fallen into disrepair, the Netherlands were just getting back onto their feet after 5 years German occupation just 8 years prior to the storm. The poorly maintained flood defences were a disaster waiting to happen. As the storm approached, it forced water inlands with no-where to go, but up. This put intense pressure on the dykes and levees of the low countries, and by the storm’s end 139 kilometres of levees would be heavily damaged, with holes up to 3.5 kilometres being torn open. With nearly 26% of the Netherlands land area being under sea level, seawater burst through these breeches with immense strength causing damage that would take decades to repair and would spur the formation of the Delta Committee just 20 days later to ensure this could never happen again and this is what they came up with. The new Delta plan would shorten the Dutch coastline by 700 kilometres, by closing the primary inlets in these 4 locations, this would drastically reduce the length of levees and dykes that needed to be inspected and maintained and thus decreasing the chances of weak points jeopardising the safety of the Dutch people. However this was no easy task and would come with an enormous cost. Before these works could be completed, additional barriers needed to be erected upstream to improve fresh and saltwater management, and prevent fresh water emptying from the Rhine, Meuse and Schelde river from redirecting around these new dams. The northern most closure dam also needed to be equipped with a hydraulic sluice capable of dealing with the output of the Rhine river, as this Fresh water would flood the Netherlands from the other direction, if it was prevented from emptying into the North Sea. On top of all this, a number of ports, such as the port of Rotterdam and the port of Antwerp, had to stay accessible. So, aside from fixed dams, bridges and sluices, two new locks that would allow an inland ship route between Antwerp and Rotterdam needed to be built. Amazingly, on top of all this work, the dutch still managed to consider the environmental impact of this work. The largest of the structures built for the Delta Works project, the Oosterschelde Storm Surge Barrier, was originally planned to completely close the mouth of this river, which would create a fresh water basin. However resistance to this plan arose, as it would completely change the saltwater environment of the area. The Oosterschelde scenery is unique, with a great variety of fish, water plants and animals. So in 1976 the Dutch government agreed to a different plan: Building an open barrier that could be closed during heavy storms and high tides. adding another 2.5 billion euros to the cost to the project. This barrier is 9 kilometres long with 62 openings, each 40 metres wide, allowing the tidal movement to remain in tact. To build a structure this massive, that needs to not only support it’s own weight, but the enormous force of a storm surge pushing against it, would require extensive foundations. The first part of these foundations were created by forming two islands, the biggest of which housing a lock to allowing ships to pass through the barrier. This island even included a massive dry dock to construct the 65 pylons needed to support the sluice gates, each using 7,000 cubic metres of concrete and taking one-and-a-half years to build. Between each island a trench was dug. On both sides of the trench, mats were placed to keep the seabed in place. While specially built ships were then used to consolidate the sand at the bottom of the trench, using special vibrating needles, the sand would be vibrated to pack the sand firmly together creating a surface that could carry the weight of the massive pylons. The trench itself was then covered with specially made mats filled with rocks to help prevent erosion of the underlying sand. The pylons were left hollow so they could be picked up by another purpose-built, u-shaped ship, and moved into place. There, inside the trench, on top of the mats, they would be lowered, filled with sand and closed with concrete. The wide foot of each pylon was packed in stone, as it is vital the pylons never move, because if even one of the massive, 260 to 480 tonne doors, cannot move, the current in that location could become enormous and potentially damage the structure. Finally these enormous hydraulic pistons were attached to the sluice gates, allowing 3 kilometres of the 9 kilometre long Storm Surge Barrier to open and close on demand. This project truly is one of the modern wonders of the world. Allowing the dutch to rule the tide and ensure the chances of another devastating flood are dramatically reduced, but with sea levels continuing to rise and warmers seas causing even stronger storms, we need to remind ourselves of the lessons learned here. The flooding of New Orleans in 2005 occurred for many of the same reasons as the 1953 flooding of the Netherlands. Poorly maintained levees broke well below their design tolerances, allowing 80% of the city to be flooded in just 5 hours. Had New Orleans taken lessons from history and reduced the length of defences needed, as they have done now with the 1.1 billion dollar Lake Borgne Surge Barrier, they may have saved of over 1000 people and prevented the 108 billion dollars of damage the storm caused. If these trends continue cities around the world are going to have to seriously assess the risk of flooding and make plans to prevent any chance of a flood taking the lives of their citizens. So you may admired some of the footage in this video, it’s not the first I have travelled to a location to get footage, but it is the first time I have really felt prepared because I finally learned the necessary skills to use my equipment like a professional from Skillshare. I learned all the technical terms and settings to set up still shots of the storm surge barrier. I learned how to get cinematic shots with my drone and I learned how to apply the correct colour corrections too. Skillshare is simply the best place on the internet to learn creative skills that could help you develop a new life skill. With professional and understandable classes, that follow a clear learning curve. You could even learn the skills to start a new business like I did for this channel, through courses for animation and editing. A Premium Membership begins around $10 a month for unlimited access to all courses, but the first 500 people to sign up with this link will get a 2 month free trial. In those 2 months you could easily learn the skills you need to start a new hobby or business. So ask yourself right now. What skill have you been putting off learning. What project have you been dreaming of completing, but you aren’t sure if you have the skills to do it. Why not start right now and sign up to Skillshare using the link below. You have nothing to lose and a valuable life skill to gain. As usual, thank you for watching and thank you to all my patreon supporters for helping this channel exist. If you would like to see more from me or see more content from Real Engineering, like sneak peeks for upcoming videos, check out the links for Instagram, twitter and facebook accounts in the description.


Municipal government

Eberhard van der Laan, mayor of Amsterdam from 2010 until his death in October 2017. Photograph taken in the plenary room of the Amsterdam municipal council.
Eberhard van der Laan, mayor of Amsterdam from 2010 until his death in October 2017. Photograph taken in the plenary room of the Amsterdam municipal council.

The city of Amsterdam is a municipality under the Dutch Municipalities Act. It is governed by a municipal council (gemeenteraad, also known as 'city council', the principal legislative authority), a municipal executive board (college van burgemeester en wethouders), and a mayor (burgemeester). The mayor is both a member of the municipal executive board and an individual authority with a number of statutory responsibilities, mainly in the area of maintaining public order. The municipal council has 45 seats. Its members are elected for a four-year term through citywide elections on the basis of proportional representation.[1] Under the Municipalities Act, the mayor is appointed for a six-year term by the national government upon nomination by the municipal council. The other members of the executive board (wethouders, or 'alderpersons') are appointed directly by the municipal council, but may be dismissed at any time after a no-confidence vote in the council. Because of this parliamentary system, the alderpersons are not appointed until a governing majority in the council has reached a coalition agreement following council elections.

In July 2010, Eberhard van der Laan (Labour Party) was appointed mayor of Amsterdam by the national government for a six-year term after being nominated by the Amsterdam municipal council.[2] After the 2014 municipal council elections, a governing majority of D66, VVD and SP was formed - the first coalition without the Labour Party since World War II.[3] Next to the mayor, the municipal executive board consists of eight wethouders ('alderpersons') appointed by the municipal council: four D66 alderpersons, two VVD alderpersons and two SP alderpersons.[4]

Municipal Government 2006-2010

After the 2006 municipal elections a coalition was formed between PvdA and GroenLinks, with a majority of 27 out of 45. These elections saw a political landslide throughout the country, with a strong shift to the left, of which Amsterdam was a prime example. The much talked about all-left-wing coalition of PvdA, GroenLinks and SP that polls indicate would become possible after the national elections of 2006 and that was such a political success in Nijmegen had its largest majority in Amsterdam, apart from some small towns. PvdA even needed only 3 more seats to form a coalition and could thus take its pick, which forced potential coalition partners to give in on a lot of issues. In the case of GroenLinks, this was mostly the policy of preventive searching by the police, which they were opposed to but had to allow.

In total, 24 parties took part in the elections, including 11 new ones, but only 7 got seats.

Municipal Executives
Name Portfolio Party
Job Cohen mayor
Safety & Internal Affairs
Lodewijk Asscher vice-mayor
Finance & Economy
Freek Ossel [5] Education & Income PvdA
Carolien Gehrels Culture & Recreation PvdA
Hans Gerson [6] Transport & Housing PvdA
Maarten van Poelgeest Spatial Planning GL
Marijke Vos Environment & Health GL
Municipal Council
Party seats change
Labour Party 20 Increase 5
VVD 8 Decrease 1
GreenLeft 7 Increase 1
Socialist Party 6 Increase 2
Christian Democratic Appeal 2 Decrease 2
Democrats 66 2 Decrease 1
AA/De Groenen 0 Decrease 1
Mokum Mobiel 0 Decrease 1
Total 45 -

Municipal Government 2010-2014

Dutch municipal elections, 2010:

Municipal Executives
Name Portfolio Party
Eberhard van der Laan mayor
Safety & Internal Affairs
Pieter Hilhorst [7] vice-mayor
Finance & Education
Freek Ossel Housing PvdA
Carolien Gehrels Economy & Culture PvdA
Eric van der Burg Health & Schiphol VVD
Eric Wiebes Transport VVD
Maarten van Poelgeest Spatial Planning GL
Andrée van Es Income GL
Municipal Council
Party seats change
Labour Party 15 Decrease 5
VVD 8 Steady 0
GreenLeft 7 Steady 0
Democrats 66 7 Increase 5
Socialist Party 3 Decrease 3
Christian Democratic Appeal 2 Steady 0
Save Amsterdam 1 Increase 1
Proud of the Netherlands 1 Increase 1
Party for the Animals 1 Increase 1
Total 45 -

Municipal Government 2014-2018

Dutch municipal elections, 2014:

Municipal Executives
Name Portfolio Party
Eberhard van der Laan mayor
Safety, Internal Affairs & Finance
Kajsa Ollongren vice-mayor
Amsterdam-Centrum, Economy, Port, Schiphol & Culture
Udo Kock Amsterdam-West, Finance & Water Resource Management D66
Simone Kukenheim Amsterdam-Oost, Education & Integration D66
Abdeluheb Choho Public Space, Climate & ICT D66
Eric van der Burg Amsterdam-Zuid, Health, Sport & Spatial Planning VVD
Pieter Litjens Amsterdam-Zuidoost, Transport & Real Estate VVD
Laurens Ivens Amsterdam-Noord, Housing & Animal Welfare SP
Arjan Vliegenthart Amsterdam Nieuw-West, Labour, Income & Poverty SP
Municipal Council
Party seats change
Democrats 66 14 Increase 7
Labour Party 10 Decrease 5
VVD 6 Decrease 2
GreenLeft 6 Decrease 1
Socialist Party 6 Increase 3
Christian Democratic Appeal 1 Decrease 1
Party for the Animals 1 Steady 0
Party for the Senior Citizens 1 Increase 1
Save Amsterdam 0 Decrease 1
Proud of the Netherlands 0 Decrease 1
Total 45 -

Municipal Government 2018-2022

Dutch municipal elections, 2018:

Municipal Executives
Name Portfolio Party
Femke Halsema Mayor of Amsterdam
General Affairs, Safety, Legal Affairs, & Communications
Marieke van Doorninck Spatial Development, & Sustainability GL
Rutger Groot Wassink Social Affairs, Democratization, & Diversity GL
Touria Meliani Arts and Culture, & Digital City GL
Sharon Dijksma Traffic and Transport, Water, & Air quality PvdA
Marjolein Moorman Education, Poverty, & Civic Integration PvdA
Udo Kock Finance, Economic Affairs, & Zuidas D66
Simone Kukenheim Care, Youth, Education and Training, & Sport D66
Laurens Ivens Housing, Construction, & Public Space SP
Municipal Council
Party seats change
GreenLeft 10 Increase 4
Democrats 66 8 Decrease 6
VVD 6 Steady 0
Labour Party 5 Decrease 5
Socialist Party 3 Decrease 3
Party for the Animals 3 Increase 2
Denk 3 Increase 3
Forum for Democracy 3 Increase 3
Christian Democratic Appeal 1 Steady 0
Party for the Elderly 1 Steady 0
Christian Union 1 Increase 1
Amsterdam Bij1 1 Increase 1
Total 45 -


Eight boroughs of Amsterdam.
Eight boroughs of Amsterdam.

Unlike most other Dutch municipalities, Amsterdam is subdivided into eight boroughs (stadsdelen or 'districts'), a system that was implemented in the 1980s and significantly reformed in 2014. Before 2014, the boroughs were responsible for many activities that previously had been run by the central city. The idea was to bring the government closer to the people. All of these had their own district council (deelraad), chosen by a popular election. Local decisions were made at borough level, and only affairs pertaining the whole city (like major infrastructural projects), were delegated to the central city council. As of 2014, the powers of the boroughs have been significantly reduced, although they still have an elected council called bestuurscommissie ('district committee').

The boroughs are:

The eighth, Westpoort, covers the western harbour area of Amsterdam. Because it has very few inhabitants it is governed by the central municipal council.


The mayor of Amsterdam is the head of the city council. The current mayor-designate is Femke Halsema. The mayors since World War II are:

See also: List of mayors of Amsterdam.

Population centers

Amsterdam, Driemond, Durgerdam, Holysloot, 't Nopeind, Osdorp, Ransdorp, Sloten, Sloterdijk, Zunderdorp.

International cooperation


  1. ^ "City Council & college of Alderpersons". Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  2. ^ "Eberhard van der Laan to be Amsterdam's new mayor". June 24, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  3. ^ Britt Slegers (Jun 12, 2014). "Three-party coalition in Amsterdam". NL Times. Retrieved Aug 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "College van burgemeester en wethouders" (in Dutch). City of Amsterdam. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  5. ^ Replaced Hennah Buyne [nl] since March/April 2008. Buyne replaced Ahmed Aboutaleb since March 14, 2007.
  6. ^ Replaced Tjeerd Herrema [nl] since April 1, 2009.
  7. ^ Replaced Lodewijk Asscher since November 28, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Bureau Internationale Betrekkingen". Bureau Internationale Betrekkingen, City of Amsterdam. Archived from the original on 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2007-04-05.

External links

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