Like many other bustling cities, Amsterdam is running out of room. The Dutch capital has limited land to build new housing for its roughly 850,000 residents, but it’s solving this problem with a unique strategy: by moving onto the water.
As CityLab reports, Amsterdam first hatched a plan to build 10 new islands on the IJmeer Lake in 1997, with the ultimate goal of creating 18,000 homes. Now, it’s ready to break ground on Centrumeiland, the seventh island in the cluster, and it’s set to be a model in eco-conscious construction and affordable housing.
The islands are collectively known as IJburg, and the new district has already attracted eager inhabitants, who praise the family-friendly vibes and lakeside views. Residents can travel between islands thanks to a series of bridges, including a main bridge that burrows straight into the mainland. The district is also a 15-minutes tram ride from the Amsterdam’s largest train hub, helping rush hour commuters reach work on time.