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‘I understand the concern felt by residents’, says landscape architect Kim Kool. ‘Whenever somewhere is being developed, it can seem as if it’s just more buildings being added. But we can also appreciate the value of this special green part of Amsterdam. Indeed, I believe that the Investment Memorandum Verdi on subplan 2, currently open to consultation, makes that quite clear.’ This subplan covers the development of the area between De Nieuwe Meer, Boeierspad, Amstelveenseweg and the Olympic Stadium. Kool emphasises the importance of the green landscape around Sportpark de Schinkel, the Sportas and of preserving as many good trees as possible. ‘It’s precisely these qualities that ensure this area is an attractive place to live, work or spend your leisure time in. That’s why we don’t want to lose it.’

Map of Verdi planning zone

Key role

In view of all of this, greenery is set to play a key role in the future development of Verdi. Kool: ‘In addition to the planned residential construction, improving existing green areas and adding sustainable new ones will be an important area of focus. This will include grasses, bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees. They will be given good, healthy sites to grow in that are easy to maintain. We also intend to improve the green landscaping around the sports accommodation, making it more accessible and easier to reach.’

Making green greener

So how do you make green even greener? Kool gives an example. ‘Imagine you have a field of grass. That’s green. If we add a variety of flowers and trees, the area that’s green doesn’t increase, but its quality does. Adding more types of greenery can also increase biodiversity. We refer to that process as greening. It also makes the place look more attractive, enhancing people’s green experience.’

Making green greener

Improvement

As well as the attractive green places within Verdi, there are also some that look quite untidy and could make you feel unsafe. Kool: ‘Some green areas are not being managed or are more or less out of control, like the Japanese knotweed along Piet Kranenbergpad. We intend to improve them. So, although Verdi will have space for homes, offices and amenities, we’re determined to safeguard the area’s green character.’

Greenery in Verdi subplan 2

Green development with room for sport

With the construction of the new residential district, Piet Kranenbergpad will be transformed from a narrow green linkway to a wide strip of green parkland, with a range of planting and places in which to play, exercise and spend time. At Sportpark Zuid, where the Frans Otten Stadium, the Witte huis and three tennis clubs are based, there is also room for some major improvements. ‘Our aim is to develop this place into an accessible place to walk, obviously without losing the existing clubs. We are currently still exploring how exactly to do this and how to include the sport elements in the plan.’

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