Greater emphasis on architecture needed in new housing construction, MP says
PvdA MP Henk Nijboer called for a clear focus on architecture to be part of the Cabinet’s ambitious construction plan, which aims to build roughly 900,000 new homes in the Netherlands by 2030. Nijboer emphasized during a parliamentary debate on spatial planning in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, that some of these homes should showcase "spectacular new architecture and bring renewal."
He voiced concerns over the possibility of reflecting on this housing construction 20 years from now only to realize that, despite the sheer volume, “it did not really capture the imagination.” Nijboer said during the debate this week that there should be a commitment to architecture, although he remained unsure about how to implement it. He suggested that the Dutch government's head architect could possibly play a part in this initiative.
Housing Minister Hugo De Jonge said during the debate that he would discuss the proposal with the country's chief architect. He agreed with Nijboer's vision of constructing “beautiful homes.” He added that “it would be wonderful if, a hundred years from now, people still speak enthusiastically about what we are building today. I believe we can do more than we currently think is possible.”
In the same debate, D66 advocated for more compact housing construction. D66 MP Faissal Boulakjar suggested reconsidering the standard of single-family homes "with a front and back garden and a large attic." He wondered whether this type of home should still be the norm when building new homes. "Isn’t just a backyard enough?"
Given the housing shortage, Boulakjar emphasized the need to focus more on constructing compact, affordable housing. "Those seeking a home would prefer a nice and compact home rather than having no prospect of a place of their own,” he said.
Reporting by ANP