Nieuwmarkt with the Sint Anthoniespoort and the entrance of the water passage that continues underneath the Nieuwmarkt up to the Kloveniersburgwal (Source: Stadsarchief Amsterdam/Han van Gool, 1990, BMAB00007000124_008).
The Role of Historical Data Regarding Water Infrastructure in the Spatial Development of the Nieuwmarkt Area, Amsterdam


  • Theo Kremer Municipality of Amsterdam
  • Marco Scheffers Municipality of Amsterdam
  • Julia Geven Witteveen+Bos




Historical information is an important resource for designing and sustainably developing contemporary cities, notably ones such as Amsterdam that have long histories. The historical information is embedded in physical places and structures as well as practices; it is also found in plans and texts that are held in multiple archives. It can be difficult to connect information about the past -- e.g., building materials, construction technologies, plans and proposals -- to contemporary needs and themes. Access to archives is not standardized, the material is not always digitized and it is not compatible with contemporary information systems, such as BIM and GIS. Information that has been organized in the past according to the criteria and values of the past does not always relate to current systems: think of historic handwritten documents, maps or drawings that are geolocalized, historical street names or terminologies. More attention is needed to effectively link historical data to sustainable development, while protecting the heritage of our historic cities. Doing this work is crucial: the information of today is the heritage of the future.

How to Cite

Kremer, T., Scheffers, M., & Geven, J. (2023). The Role of Historical Data Regarding Water Infrastructure in the Spatial Development of the Nieuwmarkt Area, Amsterdam. Blue Papers, 2(2).





methodologies and case studies

Author Biographies

Theo Kremer, Municipality of Amsterdam

Theo Kremer has worked at the Municipality of Amsterdam, with a focus on strengthening the technical memory of the city, for more than thirty years – initially by making information available, later also by giving courses and writing articles and supervising interns in local, national and international contexts.

Marco Scheffers, Municipality of Amsterdam

Marco Scheffers works at the Municipality of Amsterdam as a strategic advisor regarding the subsurface and geo-information. He aims to use his work to reconnect the natural environment with society. He has experience with data management, consultancy and governance.

Julia Geven, Witteveen+Bos

Julia Geven is a landscape, heritage and cultural history consultant at Witteveen+Bos. She finished her bachelor’s degree in cultural heritage at the Amsterdam School of the Arts, followed by a master’s in heritage studies and architectural history at the Vrije Universiteit. Her main interests are the re-use possibilities of spatial heritage, building history, and the value of placemaking.


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Water Knowledge Action Program. n.d. “Afwegen binnen het Integraal Gebiedsplan Wallengebied” [Considerations within the integrated area plan for the red-light district]. Accessed June 30, 2023.