If you are not any sort of Burning Man goer, De Ceuvel’s area in Amsterdam-Noord will most probably look like an exquisite unfinished camp to you, with all its wooden planks, tires, boat parts, and other repurposed materials. But hey, De Ceuvel IS in fact a camp, but a technological one, where research in urban sustainability and circular systems is done and implemented.
The area that is now home to this sustainable community was a former highly polluted industrial site, a “forbidden chemical garden” that could only be saved by some sustainability geeks (De Metabolic Lab) that have developed solutions like joraform compost, struvite reactors, halophyte filters, extravagant names that basically restore our faith in humanity. Metabolic is also an agent in education for the new circular economy, doing work both with the community, as well as providing consulting for big organisations and businesses.
After all the learning and brain works one can do, there eventually comes the time to soothe the needs of the body (and the spirit). Cafe De Ceuvel takes care of the first, making sure that you know where all the ingredients on your plate are coming from – this will include their greenhouse. As for the rest, there are always cultural things going on at De Ceuvel: workshops, documentary screenings, music, clothing swaps, markets, festivals, you name it. If you’re interested in sustainability, De Ceuvel is your amusement park in Amsterdam. If case you aren’t, oh well, it’s just a place that will save the world.