Holiday Hours: Closed Thanksgiving Nov. 22nd, Christmas Eve & Christmas Dec. 24th & 25th, & New Years Weekend Dec. 29th, 30th, 31st, & Jan. 1st.

This morning came all too soon – we are still adjusting to the time change. We needed to be out of the house at 7:30 to make the walk to the tram to walk past the train station to walk to Pakhuis De Zwijger for the beginning of our first Place Making Conference Session. We made it with a few detours and photo opportunities along the way.
Have I mentioned that the Dutch use a lot of bicycles? Here are just a few shots of the morning commute in front of the Central Station in Amsterdam:
  
And the parking lots go on and on and on and on. There was even an indoor parking structure for bicycles with grumpy attendants who would not let me take a picture. Can you imagine what space would look like if there were one car per bicycle trying to park!!!
Next step was to continue our journey on foot out to the island where Pakhuis De Zwijger, a small convention center, where the Place Making Conference was launching many groups of place makers to explore and consult for different towns in Amsterdam. The hike was punctuated by many interesting scenes:
      
This one is for Joe Lash:
After brief presentations about each of the destinations, we found ourselves walking back to the tram to travel to the inter-city train station to hop a train for Zwolle.
A mad rush up a staircase to the platform found us dashing back down and back up the other staircase to the other platform to catch the high-speed train to Zwolle. The electric train we took ran smoothly on its tracks at 200 kilometers per hours. 90 minutes later we disembarked at the Zwolle inter-city train station to be greeted by the official town crier.
A few years ago, not many, the city fathers of Zwolle decided to ban cars from the old city center. Everyone thought it a good idea, however that left the need for huge numbers of parking spaces at the inter-city train station for guess what: Bicycles. Here are a few more pictures of bicycle parking in Zwolle:
  
The rest of the day we heard presentations on what placemaking is all about. It is just what we have been doing with the Clinton Arts Center and what is happening with the town meetings in Clinton and Tecumseh. Looks like we are right on with our placemaking strategies. Here are a couple of slides from the presentation:
 
The big effort is to make sure there is enough to do in one welcoming place to have people want to hang around. 

Good night from Amsterdam. 

Ruth, Nancy and Hannah.