Housing corporation joining forces with residents of the Zevenster apartment complex to realise green enclosed garden

The Operatie Steenbreek Krimpen aan den IJssel (KadIJ) project is providing information to, and kindling enthusiasm among, residents and organisations aimed at greening gardens. The QuaWonen housing corporation, represented on the working group, has initiated efforts to green the enclosed garden of the Zevenster apartment complex.

Operatie Steenbreek

The “Greenery Projects” agency has taken the initiative of launching the Operatie Steenbreek project – aimed at de-paving the urban environment – within the municipality of KadIJ.  Subsequently, in 2017, a working group was set up in collaboration with the municipality, comprising entrepreneurs, volunteers, representatives of the Schieland en Krimpenerwaard district control board, and of the QuaWonen housing corporation.

De Zevenster enclosed garden greened

The enclosed garden of the Zevenster complex (1-11) has been greened in collaboration with its residents. The QuaWonen housing corporation has designated several paved areas that could be converted into small, low-maintenance gardens to be maintained by local residents. As a result, nearly half of the enclosed garden has been de-paved (totalling a surface area of 33 square metres). In addition, two rain barrels have been placed featuring an overflow to the border. As water can thus infiltrate into the soil, the system has been disconnected from the sewer.


Image: QuaWonen housing corporation has taken the initiative of greening the collective enclosed garden of the Zevenster complex, in collaboration with local residents.

Greening the garden will combat waterlogging, heat, and drought. Residents are also informed of the positive impact that greening will have in terms of biodiversity: after all, it provides insects, butterflies, bees, and birds with some additional nature!

In the end, the residents are quite happy with their beautiful garden. Initially, they had expected that the QuaWonen housing corporation would place new paving stones and assume responsibility for maintaining the garden. The residents will now take up its maintenance themselves. A plan has been drawn up to this end and in addition, a gardener will assist the residents with garden maintenance work twice a year. This will also involve inspection of the rain barrels.

For more information, go to the Operatie Steenbreek Krimpen aan de IJssel website [in Dutch].

Lessons to be learned from the project

  • Allow sufficient time beforehand to consult with local residents, in order to avoid raising false expectations.
  • Commitment among residents who will also assume responsibility is essential to ensure long-term success of the project.

Contact person

Jacqueline Veltman  
Steenbreek Krimpen aan den IJssel/Projecten in het groen
06 - 54 21 39 88

Project type
Completed measure
Werkgroep Steenbreek Krimpen aan den IJssel, Gemeente Krimpen aan den IJssel, Qua Wonen & Hoogheemraadschap Schieland en de Krimpenerwaard
District / neighborhood
Drought, Heat, Waterlogging