There is enough space to build hundreds of thousands of new homes in post-WWII parts of Dutch towns and cities, according to research by a Dutch architects’ office on behalf of the country’s housing corporations. 

The researchers said they had identified locations for 26,000 new homes in a quick scan of Amsterdam, The Hague, Almere and 10 other towns, and that building work could be carried out in tandem with an upgrade of residential areas that were built at least 40 years ago. The research focused on housing estates built between 1950 and 1980. 

“It is daft to build a neighbourhood and then do nothing more with it,” KAW board member Mathieu Kastelijn told the AD newspaper. “You have to make changes from time to time, to make sure places remain pleasant locations to live.” 

Reduce parking

Several factors still limit the number of homes that can be built to boost the density of existing residential areas. For example, rules on how many parking spaces are needed could be changed and public transport improved, the architects point out. “If locals are less dependent on their cars, you need less room for parking and that frees up room for new homes,” the KAW report said. 

Housing minister Hugo de Jonge suggested earlier that adding new floors to existing buildings and making it easier to split large homes into smaller units, would be ways of boosting the number of homes within the available space. 

A combination of adapting existing buildings, using up left over space, demolition and new construction, and expanding residential areas slightly would allow housing corporations to boost the number of rental homes in post-WWII locations by 25%, the KAW report concludes.  


Aerial view of Dutch town, private houses, streets and roundabout, green park with trees