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Do you have access to the city, but no access to urban life?

There is the possibility of settling in the city for a short time, but not enough time to enter into social contacts, to build up a social network, to contribute to the social fabric of the city.

Social life in a city of coming and going


If the majority of the newcomers in Amsterdam cannot or do not want to stay here, what does that mean for Amsterdam's social life?


Do people engage in fewer social contacts when they know that they will only be staying in Amsterdam for a few years; they put less energy into building a new social network; do they take less responsibility in social relationships, are there fewer social relationships?

Building a social network becomes even more difficult when social contacts are impossible or prohibited due to the corona virus. Reports about loneliness and depression among students, young people and young migrants are an expression of this.  


All those young people who come to live in Amsterdam every year bring new and different energy to the city. Give the city an impulse, take their talents with them, ensure that Amsterdam is more connected with the rest of the world. Making Amsterdam a young, international, dynamic city .

Newcomers choose Amsterdam because the city has something to offer them; work, freedom, culture, the “quality of life”. And are often happy that they can live here for a few years, can put that on their CV and then leave again; further out into the world or back to their country of origin. Often because they do not want to stay here, but also because it is not possible anyway.


It is interesting to see to what extent newcomers would like to stay here if they can. Even though a large part of the newcomers here will want to leave after a number of years, some will feel at home here, would like to take root, build a life here, continue to contribute to the city, but have to leave because it is impossible to stay. Can the Right to Carrots (see, for example, the article by Lene Grooten and Bart Stuart on this site) take shape for those who want it?


What does the fact that Amsterdam has become a sorting machine for the Amsterdam youth , the youth who grew up here and have to realize an independent position in this city? We see that, after they have become adults, they continue to live at home more and more and until older age. How does that affect their social life, their anchoring in the city, their roots in the city, their feeling at home in the city?

Due to their more intensive network in the city, are they more likely to stay in the city than the newcomers? Or less so because they are less connected to the international dynamics, and therefore the money, of the city?


Unlike the labor market and the housing market, a concept such as “social life” (or “social fabric of the city”) is difficult to measure. Social life is disparate, very different in character, encompassing many areas.

  • Intensity: The “light contacts” on the market, the intimate contacts at a party

  • Consume or help shape: a subscription to the gym or organizing a game of football in the park; singing in a choir or attending a performance

  • In many areas: sports together, going out, chilling, religious gathering, political action, collective gardening, family visits.


This chapter consists of the following parts:

  • Survey on social contacts of newcomers

  • Literature study on social life of temporary foreign migrants

  • Overview of reception and guidance of newcomers in Amsterdam, including interviews

  • Carrots in Amsterdam; some articles

  • Feeling at home in Amsterdam; articles, community program, reports, etc

  • Living at home for young people and their perspective





This is a survey about the Social Networks of new Amsterdam citizen.

Fill in if you moved to Amsterdam, it does not matter when.

Thuisvoelen en wortelen

Feel at home
and root

Feeling at home and newomers in Amsterdam

Research report

Root or go

Research report

Temporary living
in Lieven

In-depth interviews

Research impetus:

The new Amsterdammer

Root in Amsterdam

Research report

The right to root in the city


There are a large number of organisations, institutions and networks for the reception and guidance of newcomers in Amsterdam. This varies from expat support when buying a house to employment agencies that help temporary labor migrants shelter, special student organizations, language schools, churches and volunteer organizations for refugees, Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland that guides status holders and much more.

Below we map the reception and guidance for newcomers in Amsterdam.

Shelter and assistence newcomers

This is an interview with Silvia Venturini, the head of the Mixtree organization.

Opvang en begeleiding nieuwkomers
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