A polluted plot of land in Amsterdam has been transformed into a “small piece of paradise” through a community-driven development. De Ceuvel is now an eco-hub for creative and social enterprises. Almost all of the buildings are houseboats taken out of water and placed onto the land. With the use of clean technologies for managing water, energy, sanitation, and food production, as well as cleaning of the polluted soil using plants, the project is a demonstration ground for “closed loop” and regenerative urban development. The polluted soil at de Ceuvel will be purified by phytoremediation techniques, in which plants are used to clean the soil. A specially selected combination of plants is used to stabilize, break off and take up pollutants. This organic way of cleaning the soil and producing low-impact biomass results in a productive. After ten years, the entire site is returned to the municipality of Amsterdam cleaner than when we got it. The site’s compost toilets and biofilters will collectively save around 6 million litres of water from being used to flush waste and divert 10 million more litres into on-site biological treatment. The eco-retrofits and renewable energy production on site have saved an estimated 600 tonnes of materials throughout construction and will save over 200.000 tonnes of CO2 emissions throughout the site’s existence.
Authors: Design: DELVA Landscape Architects/Urbanism with Space& Matter and Metabolic
Photo Credit: Delva Landscape Architects