Centrumeiland: Rainproof new housing development in Amsterdam

The city of Amsterdam is developing “Centre Island”, a newly raised piece of land on Lake IJmeer. The island will accommodate 1200 to 1500 new houses. “Rainproof” is one of the key ambitions of the Centre Island urban development plan. The rainproof tasking mainly involves:

  • The collection and utilisation of rainwater for, e.g., green spaces;
  • Drainage of excess rainwater in the event of extreme downpours.

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Image: Design of the Centre Island in Amsterdam

Rather than a standard sewer system, the drainage facilities on Centre Island, also referred to as IJburg 2, are based on rainwater infiltration into the soil. This has been set down in the zoning plan: the general usage rules stipulate that a minimum of 93 per cent of precipitation must be stored or infiltrated locally.

Squares, streets, and green spaces will not be connected to a regular sewer system. Instead, their design will enable rainwater to be collected, retained, and processed on site. Rainwater falling in public spaces will run off through (surface) drainage channels and infiltrate through wadis in the soil. Ergo, the wadis and green spaces in the area play a key role in the collection and storage of the precipitation falling on paved surfaces. The design of the surface area and the planning of wadis and green spaces ties in with the principles of “Amsterdam Rainproof” project.

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Image: Rainwater is collected in neighbourhood wadis.

In addition to the wadis and green spaces, an infiltration rainwater sewer system is being constructed underneath the surrounding roads. This sewer system is based on reversed drainage: it involves a perforated sewer that releases water into the subsoil in order to combat dehydration. Water from the wadis can flow to the sewers underneath the pavement, from where it can infiltrate into the soil. Any excess water that cannot be stored will be drained into Lake IJ.

The future home owners will be asked to retain as much rainwater as possible and have it infiltrate on their own premises. In addition, the plan is encouraging home owners to reuse rainwater. In the purview of the houses to be constructed, an inspirational document (pdf, 15 MB) has been drawn up featuring climate-proof measures.

For more information, go to the Rainproof website [in Dutch].

Project type
Completed measure
Gemeente Amsterdam & Sweco Nederland b.v.
District / neighborhood
Drought, Waterlogging