Quality of life: a clean and safe port region for local residents and businesses


Although shipping is the most environmentally friendly mode of transport, operations in the Port – which are often combined with industrial operations – do have an impact on the quality of life in and around port areas. The challenge is to continue developing our port region while at the same time improving the quality of life in the greater Port area. This calls for cooperation with customers, innovative solutions, and perseverance.



Quality of Life Liaison Leonie van den Beuken serves as the Director of Port of Amsterdam’s Spatial Planning and Environment department.

If you have any complaints (including about any inconvenience you may have experienced in the Port), please contact ODNZKG.


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We have launched the following initiatives since 2010:

Less beeping

We replaced beeping alarms for reversing vehicles in the port area with a hissing sound. This is a first in that this technology has never been used so extensively in a port area. We won the Gold Decibel award 2016 for this project.

Temporary nature

The exemption from the Dutch Flora and Fauna Act for temporary nature has resulted in stunning flowers, plants and animals in the Amsterdam port region. We will carefully relocate these temporary resources when the time has arrived.


The port area is home to 41 electronic 'noses' that signal any changes in the air composition 24 hours a day, in order to detect odour nuisance.


Air quality

The Municipal Health Service (GGD) and the Bureau Luchtkwaliteit (Air Quality Bureau) measure air quality in our port area. The levels of nitrogen, particulate matter and sulphur comply with the standards, and improve every year thanks to efforts on the part of the Port and local businesses.


Coal-generated dust
In order to prevent dust from spreading around the port area, the coal is sprayed every week, a layer of cellulose is added to the stacks of coal, and transport tyres have a protective cover.

One company is using a special dust monitoring system which exceeds the current permit requirements.

Shore-to-ship power
We operate 164 shore-power stations for inland vessels and river cruise ships, and in IJmuiden we have invested in shore power for the fisherman's fleet. Vessels using shore power cause less noise nuisance and emit less carbon.


Environmental scope

Our customers require freedom to conduct their business, while at the same time local residents want to benefit from a high quality of life and high employment. We facilitate the responsible use of the environment in areas such as the noise zone and the External Safety and Natura 2000 report, which was written especially for the area.

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Leonie van den Beuken

Leonie van den Beuken

Director of the Spatial Planning and Environment unit

Tel: +31 6 301 97 895

Email: leonie.van.den.beuken@portofamsterdam.nl

Frequently Asked Questions

The North Sea Canal Area Vision 2040 describes a port area where economic activity, housing, work and recreation are all successfully integrated and reinforce each other. In order to facilitate this economic development as set out in the Vision objectives, the noise zones for the Westpoort (located in Amsterdam) and HoogTij (located in Zaanstad) industrial sites were changed in 2015. There is currently a noise limit of 60 dBA in place for Amsterdam, Zaanstad and Haarlemmerliede. All the procedures required under the law were completed in order to facilitate this change. The shift in the noise zone will eventually make it possible for new businesses to settle in this area and for existing businesses to scale up their operations and use their sites more efficiently. HoogTij currently accommodates continuous production processes. The de-zoning of part of the Sloterdijken industrial sites has made it possible to construct noise-sensitive objects, such as homes, closer to the Westpoort industrial site.

Port of Amsterdam is home to a safety zone: this is a fixed zone around an area where high-risk companies (i.e. those processing or dealing in hazardous substances) are located. The zone is a limit indicating how far high-risk companies should be removed from the rest of the area. The area is considered as a whole and companies’ individual risk zones are not assessed. Non-high-risk companies may be permitted to settle in the safety zone provided that they have practical reasons to be based in the area, so as to prevent people from being unnecessarily exposed to risk.