Haagse Stadspartij is a local list of Den Haag, that has been present in the city council for 20 years. At the last election it gained 5 seats and got an alderman. The party is left-oriented and defends public housing, public investment and ethnic minorities.
Den Haag identity is often perceived outside as linked with international organisations and public offices. But with the high increase of students from Leiden University, the make up of the City might soon change. Is your party vision more pointing towards institutional cities like Geneve or Bruxelles or more like a students city like Utrecht?
Den Haag is becoming more and more international and is transforming into a student town. This means that the atmosphere and identity of Den Haag is changing into a more liberal, open and free City. We have to help this change by supporting initiatives for students like good housing, arts and culture, music venues, debate facilities and grassroots organisations.
The high pressure on housing market in the Randstand region is hitting hard also in Den Haag. Do you have any plan to avoid the “Amsterdam effect” (long list for social woning, skyrocket of prices to rent on vrij sector and koop markt unaccessible for starters)?
Yes, we have a plan. At least 30% of all new homes should be social housing and affordable for people with lower income. We also want to invest 50 million in the construction of new social housing.
The critical density of people in Amsterdam is forcing the government in taking measures to control the tourism. The proposal is to spread the tourist’s flow in the whole region, not only in the Capital. Are you worried about side-effects as overcrowded places or skyrocketing of properties values ?
Yes, we are. Den Haag is not Amsterdam yet, but we have to be careful. We have to control the increase of new hotels and AirBnB through stronger regulation. The tourism concentrates now in the inner city and on Scheveningen Beach. We want to spread tourist attractions to other parts of the city.
The increasing number of citizens will impact even on the mobility. What are your plans for traffic?
De Haagse Stadspartij wants less cars and more bikes and public transport. We have to invest in more and cheaper public transport and in safe roads for bikes. Parking of cars in the city can be made more expensive. We support carsharing.
Integration is a sore subject for every city. How do you perceive international communities? What are you plan for a better integration? How would you organize Dutch languages courses?
Dutch languages courses should be for free. It is good to learn the language. We also should build bridges between the different international communities. We could support more international communication and media (newspaper, radio, tv, internet). Next to that we should fight racism and exclusion and create a more inclusive city where international people feel accepted and welcome.