The scenery of urban spaces in present-day societies is increasingly altering. In a world where humans, institutions and structures find themselves in a complex web of social and geopolitical relationships, conflicts and contestations are bound to occur. The case of Amsterdam offers an example of such tensions as mass tourism is rapidly becoming a contested issue, with residents and local neighborhood associations frantically waving the ‘red flag”. Is it therefore a hopeless path to walk and believe that adversity can be avoided? Yet, there is growing potential to be hopeful of the future and unveil concrete solutions that will probe harmonious living and coexistence. Thus, our research project “Am Isterdam: Contested Spaces: Tourism versus Livability” attempts to underscore this complex web of human-societal interactions by deconstructing the changes and contestations surrounding mass tourism in the European city of Amsterdam. This research asks, how have residents been experiencing and perceiving mass tourism in Amsterdam and how are they addressing it? Drawing our discussion from an anthropological perspective, our research project looks on the one hand at the subsequent effects of these changes on the urban atmosphere and unveiling on the other, the salient struggles of identified stakeholders in their quest to seek a “balance” between the “living functions” of Amsterdam and the mass influx of tourists in their city.

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