Floating community on Amsterdam canal set to be Europe’s most sustainable neighbourhood

A floating neighbourhood, complete with 46 households and a community centre, in the north of Amsterdam is set to be Europe’s most sustainable neighbourhood.

Known as Schoonschip, in other words clean ship, the households and community centre will float on 30 plots on the Johan van Hasseltkanaal, a side canal of the IJ river. The project, which is designed by architects Space & Matter, will be completed by 2020, providing homes for more than 100 inhabitants.

Building and living on water offers a resilient housing solution for places with a high chance of being affected by climate change caused rising water levels and other natural hazards, according to the project developers, Schoonschip Foundation.

Each house in the floating community will be sustainable and almost self-sufficient. Insulated and equipped with solar panels and water pumps extracting water from the canal to heat the interior, the homes will use the surroundings for energy and warmth. Waste water will be converted back into energy and many of the houses will also have a green roof where residents can grow their own plants and even food. There will be no gas used at Schoonschip.

Schoonschip is being developed in Buiksloterham, a neighbourhood in Amsterdam-North where old industry now meets new sustainable building projects.

The idea at Schoonschip is for all residents to work together as a community, as well as agreeing to share resources such as electric cars.


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com 



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