It all began with a crazy idea at the end of 2005. The intention to visit New York with Architectura et Amicitia, but then at a 24-hour stretch. To get first-hand experience of what it takes to keep The City That Never Sleeps functioning all day. The formula would be that of a ‘city marathon’ – all the participants had to make their own way there and decide on where to stay and for how long. As long as they appeared at the starting line on time. The task wasn’t to finish as quickly as possible, but to last for 24 hours.
Jurriaan van Stigt—Editorial—The city is back Friso Broeksma—24hrs Arjan Hebly—Journey to the beginning of the day Mathias Lehner—Mapping the metropolis Marijke Beek—a parallel world Thomas Kemme—Robbed Nico Zimmermann—Enlightened Wandering K. Schippers—My father wanted a street with a tram running trough it- FORUM XXIII-2-1972 Edward Schuurmans—The Metropolitan City Timuçin Sahin—Nothing Bad Can Happen Friso Broeksma—24hour - manual for a excourse
In 1972, I moved from the Pijp district in Amsterdam to the city centre, the canal ring, an unfamiliar part of the city I only visited when Santa Claus came to town. I thought that the expensive and posh houses would line those stately canals. Nothing was further from the truth, as I walked among the strutted houses, ruins and vacated premises. That not a bank in town would grant a mortgage here was no more than logical. Until then, the city seemed organized to me. In my old neighbourhood the children were allowed to build a hut on the disused site where the Willibrordus church had been demolished earlier. I remember having a very small hut, but one that stuck out. The starting point hadn’t been the heroics of building, but just being able to sell pancakes that my fellow builders grew to like. I learned at a young age that not only habitation, but a mix of functions is a vital premise for successful urban renewal. My very humble abode was quite able to cope with the grand structures of other builder boys, like Jan Vet’s kids, an infamous dealer in building materials. Or those of the Van der Meulen brothers, the ironmonger’s on the corner of Ceintuurbaan and Van Woustraat. The city – and the city centre especially – slowly emptied out. I noticed that in primary school and even more during my secondary years at the Ignatius school, which had an auxiliary branch in Purmerend of all places! We went from 1400 to 240 pupils. No, the city wasn’t the place to be. ‘No Future’, late 1980, Punk. Squatters’ riots and their chants of ‘no housing no crowning’ accompanying the coronation of Queen Beatrix. ×