Maarten van Poelgeest
alderman Planning, Land Management and Climate & Energy City of Amsterdam

by Christa van Vlodrop

1. Background

Born in Amsterdam. Studied social geography at the University of Amsterdam. After that I became active in politics and government.

2. Why are you fascinated with
architecture / urban development?

My fascination focuses mainly on the city itself. The constant battle for space between the various city users and the role you can play as an urban planner.

3. Best city

Amsterdam of course! A pocket-sized metropolis where past and future go hand in hand and where 176 different nationalities live.

4. Most beautiful building

The NDSM hangar in the north of Amsterdam. A big, rugged and desolate building where former workers of the shipyard went to work, with their lunchbox's on the back of their bike, and where now the modern creatives work.

5. Most beautiful park or square

Central Park. In the seventies seriously neglected, and now the beating green heart of New Amsterdam.

6. Best public facility /
urban infill

I am very pleased with the Eastern Docklands in Amsterdam. I live there too.

7. Best 20th and 21st century innovations

Internet. Through the Internet we all live in the same global village and we feel a certain solidarity with strangers on the other side of the world.

8. Next groundbreaking innovation

A solar cell that is 10 times cheaper and 100 times smaller which will solve climate and energy problems.

9. About the future of cities

The city will be bigger and busier but paradoxically even more livable, because car use will decrease and squares will become real living rooms for city dwellers.

10. Personal contribution to urban development

I try to encourage others to realize their dreams in the city.

11. Guerrilla in the city?

Our breeding places where artists and small creative businesses can express themselves without interference.