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last updated: October 5, 2005

New West

New West or 'The Western Garden Cities' in Amsterdam was built after World War II. It is based on the General Amsterdam Extension Plan (AUP) of the 1930s, but was carried out according to a revised and more austere plan. The area now has about 55,000 dwellings and 125,000 inhabitants. Apart from some 8,700 dwellings that have been newly constructed over the last decade, the main part of New West consists of social housing (some 70 per cent in total), while only 15 per cent is owner-occupied. It is a 'low-rent area', but not an entirely 'low-income area'.

The complete area is very heterogeneous with respect to period of construction, types of dwellings - part of the area consists of high-rise apartment buildings - and the socio-economic status of the population. In certain parts of the area the share of ethnic minorities has increased very rapidly over the last two decades - by more than 50 per cent. This has happened in particular in areas where the share of social rented housing is high. Recently, as part of the Dutch Big Cities Policy, an extensive urban renewal programme has started in New West. This is designed to result in a substantial face-lift for the physical structure of the neighbourhood.

Within New West attention will be focused on the 'Kolenkit' housing estate (Bos & Lommer district) which consists of 2,600 units, mostly in mid-rise buildings, and accommodates 6,000 inhabitants.