Joining forces with locals to get things moving again

Housing development Zaanstad

The question we faced was how to generate circulation in the housing market in a much-loved neighbourhood of Zaanstad. How could we get things moving again in this area with a rapidly ageing population? SENS real estate joined forces with the local residents and organisations to find a solution.

WhereKoog aan de Zaan
Whatapprox. 120 apartments and social amenities
PartnersMunicipality of Zaanstad, Parteon
ArchitectIbelings van Tilburg Architecten


Westerkoog is a good neighbourhood and a pleasant place to live. It is home to many young families, but also to senior citizens − the first generation of residents who are now considering their future housing needs. One in five of the residents is now over the age of 65. Westerkoog is not only a fine place to live, it also has excellent facilities including schools, shops, care centres and social amenities. The demolition of the sports centre in the heart of Westerkoog prompted a search for a solution for the challenges facing all the local residents.


Spurred on by the residents’ platform, SENS recognised an opportunity for a complete quality upgrade, revolving around the construction of new homes and improvements in the public space. The new plans achieve both. The new homes are largely tailored to senior citizens and meet a huge demand: many of the elderly residents were unwilling to leave Westerkoog but had no alternative accommodation in the immediate vicinity. The plans have improved the turnover of residents in the neighbourhood, with older residents making way for newcomers. The revamp of the public space gives the area more ambiance and structure and the community centre boasts a new and modern building.