An article written by Ton Schaap, urbanist at the City of Amsterdam, who focuses on the urban public realm. As humans we are focused on meeting other people, for which we need the urban public realm. In that domain the human scale is important as well as the vibrancy of the place – both are provided by plinths. A city that has a better public realm, will be more successful in the long run. This refers not solely to the plinth but to the whole design of the street and public spaces; street and plinth need each other.

“My inspiration for urban design and plinths comes from the European city before the mass use of the car. Plinths are often assumed to be non-residential. But most of the high density urban areas in Amsterdam are residential. These attractive areas are to be found in the European city areas from before the 20th century.”

Click here to read and download this article

p101a 23-4b_OHG_PICT0067 hybrid zone Eastern Docklands Amsterdam NL Ton Schaap.jpg

New urban housing with plinths in the Eastern Docklands Amsterdam


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