Amsterdam set to build massive new harbor district, up to 70k new homes

Mercuriushaven in Amsterdam's port area
Mercuriushaven in Amsterdam's port areaPhoto: Marion Golsteijn / Wikimedia Commons

The Amsterdam college of mayor and aldermen announced plans for a brand new harbor district that will be built in the coming decades. Haven-Stad will hold between 40 thousand and 70 thousand homes, and enough commercial room to provide around 50 thousand jobs. That combined with new parks and sport fields will turn Haven-Stad into a modern "residential-working" neighborhood, the city said in a press release on Thursday.

"In recent months we worked hard with various partners on the plans for Haven-Stad", responsible alderman Eric van der Burg of Spatial Planning said. "Carefulness and cooperation with the existing companies is crucial in the development of a neighborhood the size of the city of Leiden. It will not be just another neighborhood. Together we're building a neighborhood in an industrial area with a raw edge on the water. That is unique."

Haven-Stad will be a neighborhood with a mixed population combination. The city plans to divide the housing in the new district into 40 percent social housing, 40 percent expensive housing and 20 percent free sector housing. 

The goal for Haven-Stad is to have everything within walking or cycling distance. "As a resident you can bring your children to school on foot or by bicycle and you can work around the corner", the city said. The aim is to limit car traffic in the new district on the same ratio as applies to Amsterdam city center - 15 percent allocated to cars, the rest pedestrians, bicycle traffic and public transit.  In the coming years the city will investigate which public transit and other transit connections will be necessary to keep the district accessible. 

The plans for Haven-Stad was submitted for public consultation earlier this year. After consultation with companies in the port area, among others, the city council decided to continue with the plans.

If all goes well, the first phase of development will start next year, according to the Volkskrant. Around 10 thousand homes will be built around Sloterdijk station. The transformation of the Haven-Stad will only really start gaining steam after 2029 - the city signed a contract with the Amsterdam Port Authority and three large industrial companies in the area which stated that no new homes will be built in a large part of the port area until 2029.