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Gentrifying Urban Commons

Do you know that if you Google "Amsterdam and Commons" the first thing pops up is a restaurant? We went to check it out. Guess what?

Funny enough the Commons Restaurant has nothing to do with the idea of public goods. Well, you can go there and have an organic-vegan-lunch in a cozy space at the modest price of 15€. I went there and meantime I was eating I had an epiphany. The restaurant is indeed the quintessential example of the re-re-appropriation of the commons. It is part of the Student Hotel franchising. If you wanna know more about the evilness of the Student Hotel franchising click here and good luck with Google translator.

Back then the building was called Trouw Amsterdam, it used to be one of the few cultural hub in the city, just 5 years ago. An interesting case of self-organised place. One of the last event was organised in collaboration with Palais de Tokyo and Stedelijk Museum. It was a free-entrance place.


What happened then? Is it a kind of commodification of the last hints of commOnism in the Netherlands?

If you have other stories about it, you can share it here...

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February 02, 2019 at 14:43

Interesting. But do we have good examples of positive commonism in Amsterdam?

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February 02, 2019 at 20:58

There are many positive examples of commons reclaimed in Amsterdam. But the line is subtle between appropriation, gentrification, open speculation with vega-latte and apple laptops... Just saying

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February 04, 2019 at 13:03

hey just saying Anonymous, if i use my apple laptop to contribute to commonfare, do you think i will be judged less harshly by openly speculating Anonymous posters?

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February 05, 2019 at 21:00

here's an interesting article about the place, and the space in question that describes the progression of the venue, and its changing faces over time. It suggests that the trouw as a cultural centre may have initiated the process of gentrification, even at the behest of the housing coorporation that owned the building, and the municipality, long before it was overtaken by it's current student housing occupants. as with any urban space, with so many potential stakeholders, there can be various, often conflicting narratives concerning its nature and origins. one of those stories is that previously, this place was a commons, and now it is commercial, and that these two phases are at odds with eachother. i wonder, are there any commoners who knew the place, spent time there, and can tell us a story about it?