The major neighbourhoods of ‘Amsterdam East’ are undergoing distinct changes. There has been a concerted effort by government, particularly in the Indische neighbourhood to increase investment in social, urban and economic issues. Amsterdam East is a vibrant multicultural area in a process of gentrification. In a way it can be compared to De Pijp of 10 to 20 years ago.
East of the Amstel River and flanked by the Nieuwe Vaart canal (beyond which lies the IJ harbour) and Buitenveldert, the Oosterpark neighbourhood flows into the Dapperbuurt and Indische neighbourhood before being capped by Flevopark.
Around the turn of the 19th century, Amsterdam expanded eastward to provide housing for mostly lower-income families. During the 1960s and 1970s many immigrants settled here from Turkey, Morocco and Suriname and later the low rents also worked to attract many students and artists.
The area’s strong sense of community has come back in recent years with major investments into economic, education and social infrastructure. In short, it has become much more attractive for middle-income families.
Dappermarkt is one of the country’s oldest - and best - outdoor markets. It forms the multicultural heart of the neighbourhood along with such major arteries as Javastraat, which once only provided every manner of global grocery but is now beginning to feature more upscale cafes and terraces.
One of the city’s largest general hospitals, OLGV, is located here. Two stellar city parks, Oosterpark and Flevopark, provide quick escape from the relatively busy streets.
Not only government but also grassroots community groups are working hard to develop the area’s sense of community. Projects such as Memories of East (Dutch) which collect stories about residents, reflects how diverse the neighbourhood really is.
There is relatively more social housing and unemployment here than in other parts of the city but there is a sense of moving forward. For example, the outdoor Roots Festival in Oosterpark sees tens of thousands of people from 150 nations coming together every year.
Eating, drinking, etc.
Besides many cheap ethnic eateries and supermarkets, the area is attracting much more higher-end cafes and restaurants who are often re-inventing many of the area’s industrial monuments. On sunny days, the parks resemble impressionist painting depicting feasting locals. And who can knock a brewery, Brouwerij ’t IJ, who have a bona fide windmill from under which you can enjoy their brews? Besides the eternal Arena, the area has recently become home to two of city’s more inspired nightclubs: Trouw and Canvas.