Zaanstad is rich with history and home to more than 600 monuments and buildings with heritage status. However, it’s also undergoing a process of modernisation, with new and thoughtfully planned facilities juxtaposed with its industrial history.


Due to the many attractions of living in Zaanstad – its vibrant green spaces, the Zaan river and connections to the North Sea and IJsselmeer, nearby cities and relaxed village-like atmosphere  – many people are relocating to Zaanstad. There are approximately 70,000 homes in Zaanstad according to CBS, and many more are in development.

Housing for the future

In recent decades, the area surrounding Zaandam train station has been developed into a lively urban centre enjoyed by visitors, residents, entrepreneurs and other professionals. Dutch and international residents relocated to Zaandam centre for its attractive infrastructure and varied assortment of affordable housing.

The next stage in Zaanstad’s long-term housing plan ‘MAAK.Zaanstad’ (website in Dutch) outlines initiatives to take advantage of this momentum. The plan devised by residents, organisations and the municipal government aims to build an additional 15,000 to 20,000 homes by 2040, an average of 1,000 homes per year. There is a focus on housing for young people to attract young professionals and first-home buyers to the region. With these plans in motion, many more families can find their ideal homes in Zaanstad, and the European School can reach its potential to accommodate up to 1,000 pupils.

A report in August 2020 on the potential viability of the European School produced by Decisio for Gemeente Zaanstad forecasts that the school could expect between 600 and 1,150 enrolments for primary and secondary education by 2025.

Development plans in Zaanstad

The MAAK.Zaanstad plan aims to develop housing and facilities across four focus areas.

Zaanstad Noord

  • This project aims to build new homes and improve connections between places like Wormerveer, Krommenie, Assendelft-Noord and Westknollendam. 

Zaanstad Midden

  • Between 2,000 and 2,500 new homes will be built in the Kogerveldwijk district. Current residents are working with the municipality to share their ideas and wishes for the area. 

Zaanstad Centrum

  • To further enhance the centre of Zaandam, this project includes developing many houses, for example project Noordschebos, right next to the railway station, and building new homes in a former office building on the Mahoniehout.

Zaanstad Zuid

  • This lively area, which includes Het Hembrugterrein and Poelenburg Oost, will be developed further with more housing and transport connections to Amsterdam.