The Foundation

The objective of the foundation
The main objective is to preserve the ‘keurtuinen’, the green lungs of the city centre of Amsterdam. (‘Keur’ is an old Dutch word for law), the gardens, hereafter ‘keurtuinen’, are protected by a law from 1615.
The foundation also wants to contribute to a healthy and liveable city centre of Amsterdam by means of protecting the monumental, centuries- old- trees from being unnecessarily cut down, to make sure that the birds, bees, insects and other animals keep their space in the gardens.
All interested parties, including owners and users of the houses in the 27 ‘keurblokken’ (blocks of buildings with secluded protected gardens) as well as the Dutch government, the City of Amsterdam and organisations working for the environment and monument preservation should feel responsible to exert themselves and strive to preserve and manage the cultural-historic green character of these gardens as well as their unique characteristics such as the garden houses and the monumental trees. In 1615 the first tree was planted. Our generation and the next generations must continue to plant for a healthier and liveable city.

At present the board consists of 4 members: Addy Stoel, president, Helen Ignatius, secretary, Peter Klerkx, treasurer and Vera Amende-Peerdeman, member.

The foundation ensures that the legal rules are observed and maintained. We do this by:

  • checking the permit applications for the gardens weekly
  • viewing the construction drawings
  • submitting objections if required
  • initiating legal proceedings when necessary
  • maintaining contact with the city council and official services.

The foundation also provides information to residents, users and companies owning a garden about the regulations for the gardens. These regulations include the construction or reconstruction together with use of the garden houses.

History of the foundation
‘De stichting werkgroep Keurtuinen Binnenstad Amsterdam’ stems from the working group ‘keurtuinen’, established in 1977 and until 2019 part of the community centre ‘wijkcentrum d’Oude stadt. The working group has, in its 40 years of existence, been particularly active in ensuring that the protective rules for the 27 blocks are retained in legislation. In addition, many objections have been written, legal proceedings have been conducted and consultations with the City of Amsterdam have been held. All these actions were taken with the aim of protecting the gardens against improper use.

Two studies have been published about the ‘keurtuinen’, in 1979 and 1993:
‘Wat gebeurt er met de Keurblokken – deel 1’ (Stichting Uitgeverij De Oude Stad, ISBN 90 6352 071 9)
‘Wat gebeurt er met de keurblokken – deel 2’ (Stichting Uitgeverij De Oude Stad, ISBN 90 6352 311 4).
These studies are no longer available at bookstores but can be consulted at the Amsterdam Public Library.

Articles about the ‘keurtuinen’

Support our foundation
The foundation does not receive any subsidies.
You can support us by transferring your donation to our account at the Triodosbank: NL75 TRIO 0788 8164 62 in the name of: stichting werkgroep Keurtuinen Binnenstad Amsterdam, mentioning: donation.