DeCeuvel is without doubt one of the most sustainable and unique urban projects in Europe. It is a workplace for creative and social businesses at the riverside in Amsterdam North. A former industrial plot was secured for a 10-year lease from the Municipality of Amsterdam after a group of initiators won a tender to turn the site into a regenerative urban oasis.
The site was heavily polluted making it impossible to build on the ground itself. The group has therefore placed retrofitted houseboats around a winding wooden walkway, surrounded by an undulating landscape of soil-cleaning plants. These upgraded boats house offices, ateliers and workshops for creative and social enterprises. Part of the project is the Ceuvel Café that is open to the public and a great place to mingle with creatives and social entrepreneurs.
Luc van Poelje is coordinator of the Crossboat, a workshop and facilitation space that forms part of the project. He is concerned with bringing the soil cleaning of the polluted ground to the next level.
The plants we have on site help us eliminate the oil residues but the ground also contains toxic metals and we are struggling to find a solution for these. I have heard about solutions of using mushrooms and chemical compounds but we need help find and test the most sustainable solution.
With Science4Sustainability we have initiated a first collaboration is in discussion with the University of Wageningen. We are still seeking for help in finding the best solution.