'We all have a huge problem – we live in the most beautiful and the finest city in the world,’ said Eberhard van der Laan (1955-2017), mayor of Amsterdam and guest curator of this exhibition.
Amsterdam has expanded dramatically in recent years. More work opportunities, a lot more residents, growth in the number of tourists, more building projects. That also means busier streets and more pressure on the city to expand even further. Mayor Van der Laan called it a major expansion. Not for the first time: Amsterdam’s growth has always gone in leaps and bounds.
In this exhibition, he looks back on periods of rapid growth in the past. However, never without growing pains and with his favourite city as the result. He personally chose the photos and objects from the collections of the Amsterdam Museum and the Amsterdam City Archives to exhibit and show his beautiful city.
‘Take good care of our city and one another,’ he wrote in his farewell letter in September of last year. Love by many, mayor Eberhard van der Laan passed away due to cancer and will be remembered by many local Amsterdammers of every walk of life as a no-nonsense leader whose motto was 'everything for the city'. He wanted to use this exhibition to encourage the residents of Amsterdam to have a good conversation about the future of Amsterdam, which has such an unusual history.
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