Snowy Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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It’s an interesting example of urban planning.

There aren’t many shops so it’s quiet during the daytime when everyone’s at work/school. It’s not desolate in a spooky way, just a sleepy one. You have to walk/cycle over the bridge to the “mainland” to do any serious shopping.

On the western half, the center of the island is pedestrian-only, and cars are only allowed on the ring around the outside, and along a handful of canals that cut across.

Houses and apartment buildings back directly onto shared public gardens with grass and playgrounds.

The buildings themselves are modern and many are quite interesting, particularly the houses on the western half, and the large round apartment building at the far eastern end.

There’s a quite large grassy expanse along the water which is anything but desolate on sunny days – it fills with hundreds of sunbathers.

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