Nieuw-West then and now
Diverse and spacious, Nieuw-West is a vibrant neighbourhood that emanates cultural soul and a strong community vibe. Once an area of swampy farmland and ancient villages, the area now incorporates post-WWII residential districts, culturally rejuvenated former business parks, the vast Sloterpas lake, and the surrounding park.
For centuries, the area that is now Nieuw West (including Geuzenveld-Slotermeer) consisted only of historic villages, boggy polder landscapes and farmland. The ancient village of Sloten was first mentioned as early as 1063, making it an older settlement than the Dutch capital itself. In the early 20th century, as more workers were attracted to the city’s rapidly developing industry, Amsterdam faced a serious housing shortage. Planners began to expand West and in the early 1920s, various peripheral municipalities were annexed into the ever-growing sprawl. Sloten, for example, became part of Amsterdam in 1921.
Architect and urban planner Cornelis van Eesteren played an important role in the realisation of these expansion districts now known as the Western Garden Cities. The developments that make up present-day Nieuw-West were largely created after the Second World War to give residents more light, air, and space. You can learn more about this fascinating era of urban planning at the Van Eesteren Museum.
Surrounded by the vast Sloterplas Lake, Nieuw West is one of Amsterdam’s greenest and most tranquil neighbourhoods. There are countless opportunities to get outdoors and active, from watersports, sailing and jogging routes to beautiful spacious parks hosting various festivals and outdoor events throughout the year.
But it's not all peace and quiet at this end of town. Venues like the Meervaart Theatre, De Appel and the Van Eesteren Museum are important cultural spaces, whilst RADION hosts everything from photo exhibitions to art fairs and booming techno nights. Dotted amongst the residential enclaves and former business parks, repurposed structures bring fresh innovation and social soul to the area. Take Hotel Buiten, a stylish eatery built from shipping containers, or Lola Luid, a cultural incubator housed in a former school.