Amsterdam to turn former military base into innovative new neighborhood
The Amsterdam city council announced plans for the Amsterdam Marineterrein. The area in the city's center, which was in the hands of the Ministry of Defense for hundreds of years, will become a neighborhood with a city park, about 800 homes, and about 2,300 jobs for smaller innovative companies. There is also room for 1,400 students and teaching staff and activities in art, culture, and sports.
The city released the plans for public comment on Tuesday. According to responsible alderman Victor Everhardt, innovation and solutions for urban issues will dominate the new district. The neighborhood is partly car-free, and 70 percent will remain undeveloped. The buildings will be 20 to 30 meters high, with a few peaks of 40 meters. The city will preserve all monumental buildings.
The site on the island of Kattenburg, on the east side of the city center, had been in use by the Royal Netherlands Navy since 1655 and was completely sealed off to Amsterdam residents. In 2013, the Ministry of Defense announced that it wanted to return the area to Amsterdam due to budget cuts. In the summer of 2018, the navy should have left entirely, but just before that, the Ministry of Defense said that it wanted to stay and that it wanted to keep half of the site. Last year, the municipality and the ministry reached a final division of the site. The Ministry of Defense will remain with a compact barracks, and the rest of the area will become a place for learning, living, working, sports and recreation.
Not everyone is pleased with the transformation of the 14-hectare site. According to the alderman, there are concerns among local residents, who fear that it will become crowded in the future and that there will be too little green public space. According to him, following several information meetings, the municipality has already adjusted the plans. For example, the city lowered the maximum height of the buildings from 50 to 40 meters and decided to concentrate the buildings in a specific area, leaving more space for greenery. The city council is expected to vote on the plans by the middle of next year.
Reporting by ANP