Response to Rachel and Jenny

I think you guys already have pretty good handle on what needs to get done for you to achieve your goals with this project and you have a realistic view of your limitations. I think you’re right that you will have to limit your interviews to English-speaking tourists (unless you can somehow find someone willing to translate for you), but I imagine that their experiences with the transportation system will not be that significantly different from others’ aside form the different difficulties associated with language barriers. You will probably want to figure out which routes will be the best for finding tourists (going to and from Centraal Station perhaps?) and focus on those just in the interest of time and finding enough people who will be willing to talk to you, as I imagine that will be your biggest hurdle to getting results. Because of this hurdle, I like that you’ve also included “observe the city’s transportation system for ourselves” and “follow the instructions given in tour books and by Amsterdam natives” as part of your investigation as these will be almost entirely self-contained and easy to accomplish within the time we will be in Amsterdam.

My biggest concern for your project is the more origin-related questions. For example, by just looking, it may be hard to make any really good conclusions about “the purpose with which transportation networks have developed” or the way that transportation networks change in response to tourist movements through the city. I’m sure you can make this investigation work, but you would probably have to bring in historical research on Amsterdam’s transportation system as well in order to make really concrete conclusions on how the transportation has responded to such pressures through time, which may or may not be what you are going for.

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