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Local school children design sustainable residential district

There was quite a crowd at the Amsterdam Zuidas Information Centre on the evening of Thursday 2 June 2022. Pupils from the Vossius Gymnasium were presenting their vision for sustainable development in the Ravel residential district to an audience of teachers, parents and experts from the City of Amsterdam. The members of the jury, which included geography teacher Ivar Drost (Vossius Gymnasium) and chief designer Paco Bunnik (Zuidas), were pleasantly surprised.

Educational programme in sustainable local development

Climate change is a major challenge – probably the biggest challenge of our time. In the ‘sustainable local development’ teaching module, pupils learn how the design of an urban area can contribute to a more sustainable future. Year 4 pupils at Vossius Gymnasium focused on Ravel, a new district in Zuidas, which is currently being built. The pupils attended various workshops with expert organizations and spoke to urban planners and landscape architects. They learned how to draw up a technical design and build scale models. They also looked at circular construction and the energy transition, and carried out field research. 

Sustainability means quality of life, too!

All this was followed by the final presentation to the four members of the jury. Like true professionals, the pupils talked about the importance of car-free neighbourhoods, water-retaining green areas (‘wadis’), roof gardens and the use of certain materials to enable circular methods. But what particularly impressed Paco Bunnik, the head designer at Zuidas, was that the pupils had also thought very carefully about quality of life in the neighbourhood. They had included artwork, a jazz café and public schoolyards to help build a local community. That’s very important, said the young urban planners – after all, a sustainable residential district should be a cool place to live, too!

Would you like to know more about urban development?

Zuidas can provide various teaching packages for pupils who want to know more about urban development. Please contact us at, or you can visit us at the Amsterdam Zuidas Information Centre in the WTC, next to Amsterdam Zuid station. We’ll be more than happy to tell you all about Zuidas and the enormous infrastructure project of Zuidasdok, starting with the two scale models.

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