This means that (building) materials and raw materials will be recycled as much as possible, there will be a lot of space for electric cars and that residents and companies in the area will generate their own energy. Building projects must fulfil sustainability requirements and the public space will be designed as sustainably as possible with, among other things, LED lighting and separate waste collection.

There is nowhere else in the Netherlands where such a large area is being built in this manner, which means that much will be learnt along the way. It is, therefore, a genuine testing ground. In order to achieve this, agreements with several parties must be made. On 5 March, 20 parties who will be building in the area will sign the Circulair Buiskloterham (Circular Buiskloterham) manifesto. That is the catalyst for collaboration on the most sustainable possible development of the area.

Sustainable Amsterdam

In the City of Amsterdam’s Sustainability Agenda (Agenda Duurzaamheid), there are proposals and objectives in order to make Amsterdam more sustainable quicker. In 2020, the city would like 20% more sustainable energy, 20% less energy consumption and more waste separation in the city. The city plans to achieve this by connecting more houses to district heating, placing more solar panels and windmills and making agreements with the business sector about producing less waste and recycling it.

“In a circular city everything that we want to achieve will come together: less pollution, less waste and buildings that produce their own energy”, according to Alderperson for Sustainability Abdeluheb Choho: “We will make homes and companies in Buiksloterham as self-sufficient as possible and by simply doing that, after thinking about it for years, we will also learn a lot. We can use everything that we learn here again in other parts of the city. Buiksloterham will be an example of the new city and also, hopefully, an example for other cities to build, live and work in a circular fashion.”

Why Buiksloterham?

The Amsterdam region lends itself perfectly for circular area development because there are many residents’ initiatives, housing associations, start-ups and knowledge institutions in the area that are already busy with this. A lot is already happening in Buiksloterham now as a result of smart collaboration between the municipality and parties in the area. When choosing project developers, the municipality did not look at the highest bidder, but at the most sustainable plan. For example, at 30 metres the ‘Patch22’ building will be the highest residential building in the Netherlands (made from sustainably produced wood) and it will produce all the energy it requires itself with, among other things, solar panels. In June 2014, De Ceuvel was opened. At this temporary breeding ground for artists, discarded houseboats are used as businesses/homes, so that no piles have to be driven and no digging has to be done in the heavily contaminated soil. Plots are also available in Buiksloterham for self-built housing. The houses here are built in a climate-neutral way.

Signing of the manifesto

The Circulair Buiskloterham (Circular Buiskloterham) manifesto was signed on 5 March 2015 by the following parties: Waternet, Alliander Duurzame Gebiedsontwikkeling, De Alliantie, Eigen Haard, Metabolic, DELVA Landscape Architects, Studioninedots, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), Stichting Schoonschip, Vereniging de Ceuvel, Beleef Buiksloterham, Afval Energie Bedrijf Amsterdam, Amsterdam Economic Board, Westpoort Warmte, Zelfbouwers Buiksloterham, Waterschap Amstel, Gooi en Vechtstreek, Pakhuis de Zwijger, City of Amsterdam, NUON, New Energy Docks.