Our Vision

De Nieuwe Meent (dNM) aims to become the first sustainable self-built housing cooperative in Amsterdam that is structured entirely around the principles and practices of commoning.

We are convinced that commoning empowers citizens to use essential resources in fair, sustainable and participatory ways. Beyond that, commoning is for everyone! dNM aims to be a diverse, multigenerational and inclusive community of commoners.

dNM sets out to be a pioneer project in co-housing, ecological building, caregiving and self-management. In so doing, dNM hopes to create a blueprint for future urban living – in Amsterdam and beyond.

For us, commoning is about:

  1. Co-producing resources. Such as housing, energy, education, and social care.

  2. Sharing resources. Such as land (“meent”), food, and water.

  3. Co-managing resources via co-established rules and procedures.

DESIGN

dNM is designed as a large co-living organism with three parts: public (social centre, courtyard), communal (facilities, terraces) and domestic spaces (independent and shared housing). The current setup is developed in a participatory co-design process that creates a building tailor-made upon the needs and desires of a diverse and inclusive group.

ECOLOGICAL LIVING AND BUILDING

To face the challenges of environmental pollution, resource scarcity and climate change, we aim to radically minimize our resource-use and waste. Living at dNM will allow us to share more – from the washing machines to selected items for common use, such as tools, books and children’s toys. In terms of building, dNM will be circular, carbon neutral and adaptive. Energy will come from renewable sources integrated in the building. We have also embedded high flexibility and adaptability in the building design, allowing dNM to be resilient and long-lasting.

dNM cooperative will remain the owner of the building at all times, with statutes explicitly forbidding the resale of assets and/or parts of it. As a result of collective ownership, members do not own shares of the property, but they have exclusive usage rights as tenants. This protects members from commercialisation, the association from takeover and the neighbourhood from gentrification. Once the loan is paid, the rent income will be invested in other co-housing, sustainability and care projects that practice commoning across the city.

TIMELINE

6 June Deadline Phase #2
11 July Results from Phase #2
2021-22 Construction
End of 2022 Moving In

WHO ARE WE

The current core group of dNM consists of people who have already been involved in self-built and self-managed co-housing projects and who work for social cohesion in their neighbourhoods and across the city. We have come together from the extended network around Soweto’s NieuwLand project. Many of us are researchers and experienced practitioners in sustainability, circularity, community-building and urban policy. Others are creative and cultural professionals invested in citizen-led, non-commercial, politically progressive and socially transformative spaces of Amsterdam. Most of us are part of civil society movements transforming our society through collective action. Since the very beginning, we have been accompanied by a strong design team lead by NVZ architects, 3 independent young professionals with wide expertise in housing, sustainability, co-design and zelf-bouw. To ensure dNMs success, we collaborate with designers, researchers and media. Our current partners and advisors include: Geert Ritsema, Savannah Koolen, Donald Pols, Lavinia Steinfort, Miriam Meissner, Federico Savini, Woningbouwvereniging Soweto, WOON!, Urban Resort, UvA Centre for Urban Studies, De Meent, Samen-Thuis.