All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Living with Urban Water. “Inner” water and “outer” water in Amsterdam 1200-2000|
|The way Amsterdammers used and defined their urban water, and especially the distinction between “inner” and “outer” water, has changed dramatically through seven centuries of transformations in the organization of drainage and coastal defenses in and around the city.
The Amstel River which flowed into a sea arm called the IJ, was originally a brackish tidal river. The village of Amsterdam emerged around a dam built at its mouth in order to protect upriver farmlands from flooding and saline intrusions. From that moment on there was a sharp divide between “outer” and “inner” water. Outer water in the IJ was salty, tidal, treacherous, but also Amsterdams window on the maritime world; inner water was fresh, controllable, and agriculturally beneficial. As Amsterdam developed on the basis of trade across the dam, both inner and outer water became important elements of urban life: outer water bringing prosperity and the threat of gale-borne floods; inner water being used for drinking, by breweries, as a convenient sink for wastes, as a fishing resource and as a transportation infrastructure. Draining and regulating the dammed Amstel required parallel canals and sluices which also shaped urban morphology as well as urban defenses. In the 17th century the first part of the famous semicircular canals were constructed, which combined the logic of parallel drainage canals with the military logic of circular fortifications. By this time pollution had rendered “inner water” unfit for drinking and fishing and it was deemed necessary to institute daily flushing in order to prevent further deterioration. At the same time, the new canals were seen as especially imposing elements of the urban landscape and were soon lined with the grand residences of the city’s elite. All the while, the dangerous and salty “outer” water of the IJ lapped at Amsterdam’s waterfront. While this was a threat it also enabled Amsterdam to become the world’s premier port during the 17th century. In the 1870s the IJ was closed off from the Zuiderzee and “outer” water was pushed back behind dams and locks at some remove from the city and under control of the national government. The city’s sea defenses became secondary and the “inner” water of the Amstel and the canals was now directly connected to the freshwater IJ. A number of canals were filled in for hygienic reasons or to provide passage for trams and other traffic. In 1932, with the closing off of the Zuider Zee, true “outer” water was removed even further from the city. What was left was an utterly pacified and “tensionless” relationship to inner water which by the 1960s were still being used as open sewers and which had become hopelessly polluted and moreover threatened by the new demands of the urban automobile. In the course of the 1970s new insights developed and (clean) inner water began to be seen again as an important and desirable element of urban life. The city’s residents have since rediscovered inner water (and former outer water) as a recreational resource and an important element of Amsterdam’s unique urban fabric.