Nearing the end of a ten year plan to improve the district, Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District has been cleaned up and a new character has begun to emerge. Known for its brothel windows and cannabis coffee shops, the area had also been home to rampant criminality and in 2008, Mayor Job Cohen launched Project 1012, named for the area’s postal code, in an attempt to attract a different type of visitor. Out of 470 brothel windows, about 150 had to close their curtains indefinitely, as well as a host of disreputable businesses, such as the famous sex club Yab Yum. These less than reputable establishments have been replaced by a variety of high-end cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. However, many fear that the change, while weeding out criminality, will detract from the soul of Amsterdam.
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