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Local craftsmanship in a rapidly transforming area

Local craftsmanship in a rapidly transforming area

Local craftsmanship in a rapidly transforming area


About the pilot area

Amsterdam Noord

As one of the last industrially used areas, Buiksloterham is an important inner-city "loop-closing" neighbourhood where remanufacturing, recovery and recycling of urban waste streams can take place. Yet, pressing housing needs lead to the conversion of remaining industrial land into residential uses. For the CENTRINNO Cartography, WAAG and Pakhuis de Zwijger have set out to portrait local makers and highlight their contribution towards local circularity. The goal of Amsterdam’s Cartography is to become an integral part of Maakschap Amsterdam - a lobbying forum for Amsterdam’s makers developed throughout the project. Maakschap Amsterdam has the mission to communicate to local policy makers why makers are needed to achieve the city’s circular economy goals.


Step 1

Understand your urban ecosystem

Amsterdam's urban challenges

  • Housing - lack of living and working space for affordable prices

  • Soil pollution - Former industrial activities leave soils polluted and inadequate for circular land use

  • Land use change - green space is disappearing

  • Economic inclusion - disappearance of makers 

Step 2

Become a context detective

Which in-depth analyses and insights have we gathered to gain a deeper understanding of Amsterdam's urban ecosystem?


Soils never forget

Amsterdam, Nethlerlands - Soils in Amsterdam are largely polluted. According to soil zone maps of the city, Noord has several sites with industrial soils, classified as very contaminated. Some are even Zone 7, counting as severely contaminated.


In Noord, contamination with zinc, nickel and copper mostly traces back to industrial activities. But lead contamination, which is also a major issue in Amsterdam, is mostly an issue around the ring road from leaded fuel combustion and in post-war neighbourhoods where lead paint was still used.


Remediating this soil by simply replacing the polluted soil with new soil, is a costly intervention. Luckily, there are other methods for soil regeneration. For example, the former industrial shipyard De Ceuvel uses phytoremediation of soils, which involves the introduction of certain crops and plants that naturally clean the polluted soil. This space for experimentation is well appreciated by the city government, also due to its further sustainability goals and community work. Yet, De Ceuvel is facing closure due to the ending temporary rental contract and the need for new-built housing in the area.

Reference list

  1. Brown, P. (2020). Collaboration in Circular Oriented Innovation.

  2. Boelhouwer, P. (2020). The housing market in The Netherlands as a driver for social inequalities: proposals for reform. International Journal of Housing Policy, 20(3), 447–456. 

  3. de Ceuvel. (n.d.). Welkom Op De Ceuvel. Retrieved October 6, 2022, from 

  4. Gemeente Amsterdam. (n.d.-a). Amsterdam Circulair 2020 - 2025. Retrieved October 6, 2022, from

  5. Gemeente Amsterdam. (n.d.-b). Policy: Traffic and transport. Retrieved October 6, 2022, from

  6. Terzioğlu, N. (2021). Repair motivation and barriers model: Investigating user perspectives related to product repair towards a circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 289, 125644.


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