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Which City Cares the Most about Its Nightlife?

Big cities around the world don’t just turn off the lights and lock the doors after the nightly news. Fueled by a youthful population, cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, and Zurich keep dancing, drinking, and playing long into the night, in a world that buzzes around dance clubs, bars, and coffee shops. Many European cities are now seizing the opportunity to nurture the nighttime economy by hiring so-called “night mayors,” whose job is not only to promote the city's nightlife, but also to curtail alcohol-infused rowdiness and reassure nervous residents and public officials that things are under control.

Mirik Milan is a former club promoter who was elected the first “night mayor” of Amsterdam in 2014 through an online poll. One of the main aspects of his job is to mix with the clubgoers and tourists who frequent the city’s main entertainment district, known as Rembrandtplein, and gently remind everyone about the rules: “Stay classy, think neighbors, drink inside, use a loo.” So far, he has been successful at ensuring that Rembrantplein stays a profitable entertainment district with a degree of decorum.

Cities that never sleep:

  • The idea is catching on. In March 2016, then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced plans for a Night-Time Commission to see how London could better manage its lucrative night economy.

  • Twenty-four hour licenses are also being studied, instead of having, say, a 4 a.m. license that dumps hundreds of revelers out into the street, all at once. The idea is that with a 24-hour license, fewer restless crowds convene, and there is less noise to bother the neighbors.

  • “Late-night people are typically young, educated, creative, entrepreneurial -- people you want in your city, and who work in the creative industries and startups you also want,” Milan explains. “If places like Berlin have flourished, it’s not just because of low rents. It’s because they’re nightlife capitals.”

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More Info: The Atlantic

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