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Future of North, "We will build a city within the city in the coming years"

Published on 26-10-2020
For a long time North was mainly an area of factories and workers. That is changing rapidly. The large industrial zones on the IJ have been or will be filled with homes. What challenges does the district face? Pakhuis de Zwijger organized a livecast meeting about it.
At the start of the meeting on Wednesday 14 October in Pakhuis de Zwijger, Erna Berends, district chairman of Noord, immediately clarifies what awaits Noord: "We will build a city in the city in the coming years." Its district has recently already exceeded the magical number of 100,000 inhabitants, with another 50,000 inhabitants to be added in the next twenty years. An enormous operation that also has to be completed in an existing part of the city. Berends: "In an area with a protected cityscape and of course with people who already live in the district."

More than shiny towers

Berends shows on the basis of a number of photos that 'the shiny towers on the IJ-bank' are not exemplary for the current Noord. She points to socially unsafe places, to parts of the city district that could use a thorough transformation and to the social problems of a considerable part of the inhabitants of Noord. "There are many neighborhoods in Noord that do not get the daily newspaper, but where the living environment and the situation of the residents can be much better." Berends also wants room for improvement of precisely those places and people in the sky-high ambitions of the municipality.

Counteract segregation

Berends sees the connection of transformation areas such as the Hamerkwartier and existing, adjacent neighborhoods such as the Vogelbuurt as an important task. The Vogelbuurt is socio-economically one of the weakest neighborhoods in the city. Lurking segregation. A mixed housing supply in both existing neighborhoods and new neighborhoods is then necessary, says Eric Nagengast, real estate manager at the Rochdale housing association. Nagengast does wonder whether the municipality has sufficient control over the (re) development of areas, especially when it comes to the ambitions in the field of social housing. According to him, the municipality mainly gives space to market parties and housing corporations such as Rochdale should then hope to fill part of an area with social rental housing.

Higher and smaller

In parts of North where Rochdale - and other corporations - already owns and want to renew, Nagengast says it is quite possible that new residential buildings will be higher than the current 4 or 5 storey buildings, according to Nagengast. “It is also possible that homes will be slightly smaller than what people are used to in Nieuwendam or De Banne, for example. For the elderly, for example, a slightly smaller home may be sufficient. ”

Robert Kohsiek, director of Wonam, develops and manages homes in the middle segment (with a monthly rent between 700 and 1200 euros). The Pulse complex, right next to Noord / Zuidlijn station Noord, with more than 200 homes is nearing completion. With this, Wonam is adding a considerable number of homes in the middle segment in Noord in one go. When asked, Kohsiek indicates that there are currently no homes for starters who move on from social housing or starters leaving the parental home are currently reserved for Northerners. However, he is quite willing to reserve some of the houses for this. "I think it's an interesting idea and I think we can arrange that." It is one of the possibilities to allow the current Northerners to benefit from the stormy development that is still to come to Noord.
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