Binnenstadscampus Renewal with Rein Schaafsma

June 20, 2018


The University of Amsterdam is renewing its city centre campus and aims to incorporate elements of environmentalism throughout the process. This week the Green Office sits down with the key stakeholders in the project to get a clear idea of what exactly is going on.


If you've ever been to the centre of the city of Amsterdam then you've surely been privy to the University of Amsterdam's Binnenstadscampus. Located in the Oudemanhuisport area the Binnestad campus actually consists of loads of buildings scattered around the city centre. 

Green Office community portfolio holder Rein Schaafsma has been working closely with the team who is renewing the city centre campus. As you know, this blog is the final in a series focusing on the Green Office's internal workings and this time we've tried to do something a bit different this time - a series of interview questions. 


Tell me about your personal experience working on the new city centre campus.


"First, the student council of the faculty of the humanities came to me to address the issue of sustainability at the city centre campus. They wanted to do something with it but didn't know where to begin. Subsequently, I arranged a meeting with some project managers from huisvestingsontwikkeling and they made clear to be highly ambitious, also with regard to sustainability. From that moment onwards, I kept pushing them to provide us with concrete plans regarding sustainability. So basically, I addressed to issue at huisvestingsontwikkeling and pushed for concrete​ measures​"



What elements of environmentalism are integrated into the new campus?​


There is a high ambition to give this project a pioneering role for the city of Amsterdam. Therefore, a myriad this project aims to fulfill a myriad of requirements, one of them is sustainability (sustainable use of materials, employment of a long-term vision, sustainable mobility, responsible use of space).


Why did the UvA decide to remodel the city center campus?


Well, the buildings are quite old and are unsuitable to fulfill the demands of current times. In turn, the university has decided to renew these exiting buildings to better suit the needs of students. 


How are you incorporating students and local stakeholders into the redesign process?


The UvA is committed to maintaining good relationships with all internal and external parties involved in developing the City Centre Campus. All communications with these parties should contain timely, consistent and clearly worded information on progress, planning schedules, and anticipated inconveniences during the completion of construction and renovation work.


Both the Central Representative Advisory Council (CMR) and the Central Student Council (CSR) are involved in planning and decision-making regarding the new UB at an early stage. The UvA is actively encouraging other staff and students to engage in various forms of participation – ranging from surveys to interviews – for the purpose of obtaining input.



To learn more about the project click through the links below:


- New university library:


- Local environment:


- FAQs:


- Detailed planning university library. See millieukundig onderzoek (environmental research):





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