This week we (Dina, Pieter bas and Michael) focused on collecting relevant secondary data for our case study. For our research, we observe the changes the long-term residents, costumers and established enterprises in the Pekbuurt neighborhood experience due to the implementation of the Pekmarket. The traditional Mosveldmarket has been reinvented into the more modernistic Pekmarket, which focuses on a wider spectrum of target groups, including a more affluent, middle class group. The Pekmarket offers possibilities for new merchants selling biological, sustainable products. The biological market is added to the traditional market. Ostensibly, this leads to a social mix of visitors and merchants. We examine whether this biological market attracts middle class target groups and whether the Pekmarket contributes to gentrification in the Pekbuurt in Amsterdam Noord, in terms of displacement or positive economic growth, raised status of the area and economic activity. Moreover, we look at how social cohesion develops on the market. Does the social mix stimulate a warm, mating, or bridging community on and around the Pekmarket or is there limited social contact between the different groups?
On Friday 28 November we planned several interviews with merchants (from both the traditional- and biological market), market costumers, the market superintendant and established endeavors in the neighborhood. We first conducted an interview with Nick Bos, the butcher on the corner of the van der Pekstreet. We asked him how he experiences the Pekmarket and how he thinks the Pekmarket influences the neighborhood. He was certainly satisfied with the advent of the market because of the big turn-out of new costumers. He said he had seen a large amount of new costumers but a modest amount of new, middle class visitors. Lastly, mr Bos was convinced the Pekmarket is a good development to the Pekbuurt neighborhood, since the neighborhood gets together here and it stimulates entrepreneurship; people from the area have the possibility to start their own stand. Thereafter, we interviewed several merchants on the Pekmarket; on the traditional side and the new biological section of the market. Most traditional merchants were happy with the Pekmarket due to new costumers and the restructured division of the market compared to the obsolete Mosveldmarket. However, the biological merchants offering more expensive, sustainable products were less satisfied because their primary target group (particularly middle class members) is still too small. This indicates the gentrifying process in Amsterdam is still in its infancy. We took note that the different groups on the market were socially separated: there was clearly a dividing line between the biological section and the traditional section of the market.
In our next post we will talk about the rest of the interviews we conducted Friday 28-11 and Saturday 29-11. Moreover, we will elaborate our observations concering the “Sinterklaas intocht” at the Pekmarket.