A lakeside, sustainable city, designed according to the principles of circularity: this community project is intended to become a prototype of floating urban development.
Schoonschip is an innovative circular district of Amsterdam, which has occupied the Johan van Hasselt canal for several years. A group of citizens wishing to develop an energy-neutral housing project imagined it around 2010.
The project includes 46 housing units spread over 30 aquatic plots linked together by a jetty. Each inhabitant is directly connected to several of their neighbours while maintaining spectacular views of the water. The houses were built off-site and come from several different workshops and builders. As a result, they are all different and the materials used are just as different.
A close-knit community
The hundred or so inhabitants of Schoonschip have decentralized and sustainable energy, water and waste management systems. With an intelligent network of solar panels that helps residents distribute energy between them, submerged heat exchangers for heating and cooling or water treatment technologies to recover energy and nutrients from wastewater. In addition, the community strives to promote short circuits. The project was imagined in open source: the inhabitants decided to share their good practices on a website, detailing various aspects, from materials to food production but also legal issues.
Schoonschip – the clean boat – is an innovative project that offers an effective adaptation strategy to the risk of sea-level rise. And if there is one country affected by this danger, it is the Netherlands, a quarter of which is already located below sea level. Being already on the water considerably limits the risk of flooding. In addition, it is an original response to the problems of congestion in urban centres. As Sascha Glasl, from the Dutch agency Space & Matter, who designed Schoonschip, says, “This solution not only protects the inhabitants against nature, but it protects nature itself.”