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Betaalbare Nieuwbouw Spel

City of Amsterdam

Supports policy makers develop an implementable agenda for affordable housing across Amsterdam’s Metropolitan Region [Almere, Purmerend, Zaanstad, Amstelveen]


Amsterdam, the Netherlands

4 Sessions with over 120 policy makers, institutional investors, housing corporations and private developers

Strong economic growth has made The Metropolitan Region Amsterdam, MRA, a magnet for residents and businesses; and the number of people living and working in the region has never been higher. Some 250,000 housing units are planned to be built within MRA, until 2040. The dark side of this booming real estate industry are rising prices, and increasing segregation. It becomes urgent to achieve a balanced proportion of various housing segments inhabited by a healthy diversity of citizens. The MRA partners are coordinating their house-building plans, so that a diversity of living environments will continue to be available within the region in the future.

These trends are new to policy makers, who are responding to them with major new interventions targeting both existing housing stock and new residential development. Some changes can be made at the local level, but a coherent and competitive region can only be achieved through synchronization of agendas of involved local and provincial governments, in total 36, operating in the MRA. Meanwhile regulations that affect the housing market are set by the central government in the Netherlands.

The housing market is a complex system and regulations are only one piece of the solution. Many stakeholders must collaborate to create thriving communities and ensure responsible land use. Open discussion is needed to find a way to balance the need to maintain social integration with a more liberal environment that accommodates the requirements of housing developers and investors. Supporting these goals, Metropoolregio Amsterdam asked Play the City to develop a city game, ‘Betaalbare Nieuwbouw Games’ meant to unlock necessary conversations among the main actors [public and private] responsible for urban development in MRA.

Affordable Housing Game -MRA is fundamentally a multiplayer table-top debate game for about 15 players. During the game, regulators [2], city and government officials [5+1], housing companies [4], investors [2] and developers [3] active in MRA’s subregions will exchange knowledge, views and strategies towards negotiated, collaborative actions. In the first instance the game will be localized for Zaanstreek Waterland, Amstelland Meerlanden, Flevoland and Zuid Kennemerland.

Strategy cards are used to provide players with a range of policies and ideas that have been successfully used elsewhere to achieve objectives for the quality and quantity of affordable housing. These cards are organized into five categories: income support, spatial quality and diversity, rent regulation, participation, and access to land and property. Players also select from a pool of three-dimensional housing typologies when developing their projects during the game. These are based on existing affordable housing projects that have been constructed in urban locations around the world.

The game board is the visualization of the subregions including selected datasets. Land and district passports that work together with the game board involve infographics to help informed decision-making during play. Game board and passport visualizations involve data about available land for social and affordable housing, segment percentages for existing housing stock, demographic profile of existing urban districts, infrastructure investment plans.

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