Bursting at the seams: Why Amsterdam faces a housing crisis by 2025

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Amsterdam is running out of space - and time - to house its rapidly growing population, according to a study which predicts 110,000 more people will be living in the city by 2025.

If the estimated figures, compiled by the Environmental Assessment Agency (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving) and the Central Statistics Office (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek), are borne out, an extra 60,000 houses will need to be built in the next 15 years.

But the global economic crisis has caused a slump in house building and the city currently only has enough money for 40,000 new homes, says councillor Maarten van Poelgeest.

In the last 15 years an average of 3,500 homes have been built each year, but last year the figure dropped to 2,700 and projections for 2011 suggest it could fall to 1,500.

“It’s a tough and difficult challenge,” Van Poelgeest told Het Parool. “But despite these problems it’s a good sign that people are staying in Amsterdam or coming to live here. Amsterdam is attractive. In housebuilding you have to speculate to accumulate.”

A separate survey has highlighted the increasing congestion in the city centre caused by increasing visitor and commuter numbers.

The Trendrapport Amsterdam Centrum found more than 80,000 people now live in central Amsterdam, while more than 11 million people visit the city each year.

The average age of the city’s population has also risen noticeably.

In addition, the number of cyclists has doubled in the last 20 years.

Most Amsterdammers are satistifed with the quality of life in their neighbourhood, giving an average score of more than eight out of 10.

But public events and the bar and restaurant trade are increasingly regarded as a nuisance.

Source: Het Parool: Amsterdam kan groei niet aan
Photo by Naomi Blindeman

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