Geuzenveld-Slotermeer walking route
‘Light, air and space’ was the Slotermeer and Geuzenveld construction motto in the early 1950s, envisioned as a counterpart for the short-on-space city centre. Nowadays, more and more Amsterdammers are flocking to these neighbourhoods searching for greenery and room. In this walking route, Rosa van Rumpt of the Van Eesteren Museum brings us along to her favourite places.
The Slotermeer and Geuzenveld neighbourhoods were designed by urban planner Cornelis van Eesteren and are a part of the Westelijke Tuinsteden. Construction started in 1951, but the design was already part of the General Expansion Plan of 1934, created to include enough Amsterdam housing to last until the year 2000. Talk about long-term planning! The neighbourhoods have an open architectural style, so there is a lot of space for greenery. "If you cycle from the city's centre to Geuzenveld-Slotermeer, you will notice that it is becoming greener and less crowded. That gives you peace of mind and space to breathe," says Rosa van Rumpt.
"Perhaps one of the few positive aspects of the corona crisis is that neighbourhoods like this are much more appreciated and visited by walkers, cyclists, runners and swimmers (yes, also in winter). People are increasingly moving from the centre to this district." And that's a good thing because there is more than enough to see and do here. Van Rumpt shows us why the area on the north side of the Sloterplas is increasingly popular.
1. Van West Gardens
In 2007 four polders on the west side of the city were transformed into a unique, multifunctional urban agriculture and recreation area. There is room for catering, nature, sports and recreation. "Two companies I want to highlight are the Fruittuin van West and MijnStadstuin. The first is an organic orchard where you can buy fresh fruit, and at MijnStadstuin every Amsterdammer can grow vegetables in their own city vegetable garden with the help of a garden butler!"
Pieter Moeskopspad 20
2. Toko Makassar
Toko Makassar has been open since 1973. It is a real family business in the middle of Geuzenveld. "I myself am a quarter Indian, and I love good food, so it’s two for two. I really love the Nasi Kuning there. In addition to all the tasty savoury dishes, they also have sweet Indian snacks such as Kue Lapis, a delicious bright pink and yellow rice cake. Toko Makassar is worth cycling for!"
Sam van Houtenstraat 35
3. Şerifoğlu café and patisserie
People from all over the region come here for their Baklava and other Turkish sweet pastries. "Upon entering, I get overwhelmed by the number of choices. The entire counter is full of delicious pastries. I always opt for the baklava with pistachios, but you should also not miss the baklava with walnuts."
4. Broederplaats De Vlugt
"Incubators always have my attention. Until 2017, the Van Eesteren Museum was located here. Now it’s a super fun place with creative entrepreneurs." Artists can work on their projects here, and visitors can participate in fun workshops, performances and lectures.
Burgemeester de Vlugtlaan 125
5. H.J. Bruinink
Hobby shop H.J. Bruinink. is located on a typical fifties avenue with beautiful wingnut trees. "A well-kept secret in the middle of Slotermeer. If we need trinkets for an exhibition, we sometimes drop by here and find exactly what we are looking for. I really like knitting, and I can come here for that."
Burgemeester Vening Meineszlaan 54
6. Hotel Buiten
Just behind the city beach on the northwest side of the Sloterplas, you’ll find Hotel Buiten. Contrary to the name, this is not a hotel, but a cafe/restaurant. It was set up in 2012 by local residents and entrepreneurs because, at that time there was nowhere to drink a cup of coffee around the lake. "It's a really nice place to have a beer or eat something delicious after work. They also have excellent options for vegans and vegetarians."
Th.J. Lammerslaan 3
7. Water sports centre De Duikelaar
The General Expansion Plan of 1934 already stated that there had to be enough space for recreation. This is the water sports centre De Duikelaar, where you can practise all kinds of water sports. "You can rent a canoe, sup board or windsurf board here and discover the Sloterplas from the water."
8. Van Eesteren Museum
At the beginning of this century, attention and appreciation for the post-war heritage in the Western Garden Cities grew. In 2007 a piece of Slotermeer was declared municipally protected heritage. This area now forms the Van Eesteren Outdoor Museum. In addition, there is the indoor museum on Sloterplas and a museum house that is completely furnished in 1950s style. "Van Eesteren was a visionary. His plan for the garden cities breathes light, air and space, and it is very green, filled with many parks and trees. Even though many more homes will be added, the new construction must not be at the expense of greenery and water, because Van Eesteren's plan is still very relevant."
9. New Metropolis Nieuw-West
New Metropolis is an annexe of the Pakhuis de Zwijger debate centre. Its expansion to Nieuw West is due to the district's development. Here, residents can come together to discuss important themes such as housing, education, social safety and care. "They try to give a stage to young people, entrepreneurs, culture-makers and professionals from the neighbourhood."
Burgemeester Rendorpstraat 1
The lake was dug to raise the surrounding neighbourhoods with sand. Because more and more sand was needed, the puddle became deeper and deeper. Ultimately, the Sloterplas became over 30 meters deep. "You can enjoy a magnificent view over the Sloterplas from the dotted terrace at Restaurant Oostoever on the northeast side. There are trees on the left, greenery, and a marina on the right. It doesn’t quite feel like Amsterdam."
Follow this route on your phone
Are you ready to try this route? Good news, the route can now also be followed via the Komoot app; with walking instructions, information about the highlights and a place to share your own photos with us.
Rosa van Rumpt
After her studies in cultural heritage at the Reinwardt Academy, Rosa van Rumpt started working at the Van Eesteren Museum as a program coordinator. For three years now, Van Rumpt has been working with the ideas of urban planner Cornelis van Eesteren, who designed Slotermeer and Geuzenveld, on a daily basis.
The map was created by illustrator Barbara van den Berg.