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Sat October 16 2021

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Momentum builds for Amsterdam cable car

3 days Amsterdam City Council has given its support to the planned construction of a cable car to link two growing residential areas.

A signing ceremony has confirmed the municipality’s official support for the IJbaan Cable Car, bringing the project one step closer to being built.

Amsterdam’s traffic alderman Egbert de Vries signed his support for the project, marking the first time that the municipality has occupied a formal position on the proposed creation of the new transport system in the Dutch capital.

The IJbaan cable car is intended to form fast, green and future-proof public transport network. The route will run over the IJ waterway and link two growing residential areas: Amsterdam-West and Amsterdam-Noord.

UNStudio’s initial design for the cable car included three pylons and two stations, but was created with flexibility in mind, so that the route could easily be expanded to include a third station.

UNStudio’s founder and principal architect, Ben van Berkel, attended the official signing ceremony alongside representatives of the municipality, the IJbaan Foundation - the grassroots citizens’ initiative that proposed the cable car - and project advisor Arcadis.

“I’m incredibly pleased that the municipality has given its official support for this extremely sustainable public transport system,” said Van Berkel, adding that the project will also help relieve growing congestion.

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“Amsterdam is growing enormously and such an 'air bridge' contributes to the development of the entire region. Transport by air also relieves the increasing pressure on traffic and the existing transport network on the ground. It is not only efficient but also fun. People are going to see and experience their city in a whole new way,” he said.

The IJbaan Foundation said: “The cable car is intended to provide a better connection between west and north. This could be crucial for the future Port-City district, where car use is discouraged.”

Prior to the event, the project’s co-initiator Bas Dekker said that the municipality’s backing “gives the plan a huge boost”. “We are aiming for a fully-fledged public transport connection, not a tourist attraction,” he said, adding that it will be “a useful addition to the planned bridges and existing ferries”.

The original route of the cable car has now been slightly shifted to make way for a planned bridge, and extended to connect with the Isolatorweg metro station. The Municipality of Amsterdam will also now take over part of the feasibility study, at the request of the city council.

However, the agreement with the municipality does not mean that the city will also contribute financially to the project’s construction; the estimated costs of around €120m (£102m) will have to be raised from private investors.

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