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Er was eens ( Het Bijlmerpark )

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We are used to living here, in the Bijlmer where there is lots of green, and that is why we came to live here and if trees are felled... if you say 8000 trees are felled and 500 return in their place then for us, that is a huge setback. We also get the situation back as it was. We are standing here, at the Kemminkhorstweg... we see the houses with the gardens on the right, the water, and on the left a tree line. What does the municipality want, then? They want to build 6 residential blocks halfway to the water, in the water, the trees should be cut down, and there in the middle, what we see there, there will be family houses and terraced houses. All trees will vanish. You can see the consequences for the current residents, the entire neighbourhood will be destroyed. What we see now is a 80 metre wide tree line, those do not have a park function, but they have a pure function; to block the noise and particulate matter of the traffic on the Gooiseweg. The municipality says that this is a park, it is part of the park, that is what it could be, but it has no park function, it has a pure function, what I just said. On the other side of the Gooiseweg, that is on the west side, there is likewise an 80 metre tree line which has the same function as the trees on the east side. These trees must all vanish for housing. There is an alarming quantity of clearcuts in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost. 40,000 trees will be felled in 30 years time. The topic now: the felling of 9,000 trees in the Bijlmer Park. 25 hectares. The very important green lung of Amsterdam. Only trees clean air and produce oxygen. Half of the park serves as a direct buffer against traffic emissions from the Gooiseweg. There is no political awareness for the importance of nature. Everything that lives, people, animals, trees, should be treated respectfully. Our health is already under pressure. Especially particulate matter and other harmful traffic emissions provide additional illness and mortality. The Randstad is in terms of air quality among the most polluted areas in the world. Residents have to fight to protect their habitat. Because of the stalemate between government and residents, disputes end up in court. Because of the fragmentation of plans, it is very hard to denounce the extent of the destruction of nature and habitat legally. Often, there are several legal cases for a single planning area. For the Bijlmer Park, there currently are 4 appeals. Many may follow yet. A culture change in politics and jurisdiction is a primary prerequisite to prevent irreversible damage to the habitat in the future. This will be the new situation... Let's see at the east side... This is a bit unclear, because you don't see it in it, I think, but this will all be houses. Yes? So all the green vanishes and then there will be 200 houses here. On the other side, on the west side of the Gooiseweg, there will be houses close to the road, then there will be 4 football pitches here, and this section... which previously had little water, much water is constructed, because... due to the hardening of this section... they want to compensate that with much water on this side. Ultimately, as a park, merely this section will remain. Instead of the very large park that we had, merely this will remain. So that is a setback for the park. That is about 70%, so nothing of the park remains. Your comment please? Well, it is always the case, that they respond with that inadmissability each time, right? As if, if you live just a few metres farther away from the trees, as if it doesn't concern you. Well, that is madness ofcourse. That is exactly what they said about the park. The park is for everyone, the park, it is there for 85,000 people, if you live in a neighbourhood where there are so many people, you have to have a park here, and whether you visit it or not, it just belongs there. I find it ridiculous, for example, that people are only allowed to make objections against the felling of trees when they can see those things from their window, 150 metres. When you just cycle back and forth to your work every day, through the Vondelpark, and you live in Sloten, then you would not be allowed to make objections. When there is some tree, of 400 years old, very monumental... Anne Frank tree, right? Actually, the thing is, under this scheme, people are only allowed to object to the felling of the Anne Frank tree, if they can see the thing from their window. Isn't that retarded? There are people in Germany and America, to whom this tree is important too. Well, in that respect, that tree regulation and that stakeholder provision are very rigid and inflexible. There has been a report, a survey at the town hall which was designed for the whole city and that survey was about the air quality, and all the experts told their story in it, and it showed very clearly that living next to a road is extremely unhealthy, in the first place for children, those lungs will become ill much earlier then, and for the elderly, who are thus most affected by it. The inhabitants of the house are all between 75 and 100 years old. Those people, they already have many lack of oxygen, and a lot of people in the house already receive oxygen from little tanks, and well, if those trees are cut down, then there will be even less oxygen around the house. And for that reason, they are thus very worried about their health, and that is ofcourse logical, because those people all have some age. The fact is, that the municipality has written its own report after the survey, on the environment, and everything that goes with it, but that surely doesn't constitute for two thirds of what the scientists and experts all said in the survey, so that is all being covered up, and it is therefore only assumed that we will soon have only the things that are affordable, soot filters and such, so that is put forward, but the things they should really carry out, they do absolutely nothing about. And what should they really carry out? - Well, they should make sure that one no longer builds near a highway in the first place, because in fact, the Gooiseweg is a main road, and that road belongs to the province. That is what the documents clearly state. I handle cases that also have a lot to do with trees, and usually, I have to deal with, like, 36 trees, 37, but this is about 7,000 trees. If you put them together. Could I formulate it as salami tactics, which is being applied here? Ofcourse this concerns salami tactics, because instead of requesting a permit for 7,000 trees, of which everyone would say: "Hold up, what is this?", they cut it in small pieces, and then they have both the advantage with the public as the public thinks: "Ah, 768, that is not that bad!" and then, in a couple of months, it happens again, but on top of that, they try to get an advantage with the court. And the judge will think likewise, ofcourse. He'll think: "I am now talking about 700 and the rest, we'll see that later." but, indeed, there is a kind of salami tactics here, to push this kind of decisions down people's throats. I will only briefly quote the experts: "You should not fell any trees, absolutely not." And at the moment, even the VVD has already said: "So we should restore 50,000 trees." Well, why would you cut down those trees first, and then restore them, wouldn't it be better to leave them anyway? Yes, there is a professor in Maastricht, mister Twan Tak, who has examined the quality of the legal system and he notes that the legal system is sick to the bone, and that has to do with the absence of independent jurisprudence. The Council of State, for example, is composed of former politicians, which is already a contradiction in itself, because politicians always have interests. Judges should really be independent of parties. Furthermore, there are judges who are overloaded and they mostly have to do a lot of work to do their work qualitatively well. Jurisprudence is not about truth, but about who has the most credible story, with which you can convince the judge. The municipality delivers heavy documentation and lots of research material, against which you can do little as a citizen. To stand tall in those procedures, as a citizen, you will have to have a lot of money to be able to perform good counter investigation. In general you can say that the quality of the trees, as the district investigated, is not a complete story... because they do not look into the ecology, and they do not consider the air quality.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 48 seconds
Country: Netherlands
Language: Dutch
Producer: tamara bosma
Director: tamara bosma
Views: 113
Posted by: bossieinthahouse on Sep 21, 2009

Reportage over actieve bewoners uit de Bijlmer voor het behoudt van hun Bijlmerpark.
Online uitgezonden via NPS new Arrivals 5e ronde 2009
tien minuten waarin de algehele tendens mbt bomen en bomenkap in kaart is gebracht met het Bijlmerpark als voorbeeld. De vraag is ; hoe creeren we een keerpunt ?
Het antwoord ligt mede in de houding van bestuurders en politici en wat Amsterdam betreft in de Hoofd Groen Structuur. Deze HGS zit echter sinds kort in een nieuw jasje .... en dat jasje kleurt niet meer groen.

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