A gradual transformation characterizes the regeneration of the former industrial district of Buiksloterham (100ha) in Amsterdam, on the northern banks of the IJ river. Changes in Amsterdam’s zoning plan have created opportunities for bringing housing into the mix here, and the municipality of Amsterdam also sees the area as an opportunity to host new enterprises in the creative, nautical, and media industry. The overarching objective is to create a sustainable mixed-use urban area, and the process is characterised by a high degree of interactive governance. That is, within the limitations of the law, there are several privately owned properties whose owners are allowed to develop their own projects within the ‘rules of the game’ of the development plan. In addition, a framework has been built for public space planning, and a general masterplan is deliberately absent.

The rules and the framework leave a lot of room for future developments. Approximately 1,500 dwellings are currently in the development stage. In the next ten years, more than 3,000 dwellings will be constructed. These developments include a number of self-build housing projects. The project is generally seen as a ‘living lab’ as it is based on a new business model.

Image: Buiksloterham in 2015

District Map

Research Area, Buiksloterham

District Details

Self-build homes under construction. Buiksloterham is known as one of the first areas in Amsterdam where private commissioning (both individually and in groups) took off on a larger scale.

One of the former shipyard halls of the Netherlands Dock and Shipbuilding Company (NDSM) now offers commercial space for startups, artists, and other creative industry activities.

Shipping container homes for students are used as a temporary measure to deal with Amsterdam’s housing shortage.

A variation of completed self-build homes across from the Papaver Canal.

Image: © Rik Bos

The plan for the recently developed Papaver Park was entirely initiated by residents of the Buiksloterham area, who seem to be committed to creating valuable public space. The municipality of Amsterdam helped constructing the park.

Image: © Rik Bos