Zelfbouw, meaning ‘self-build’ in Dutch, is a current planning trend in The Netherlands. While there have always been people building their own homes, zelfbouw has been actively promoted over the past few years. Responding to the financial and real estate crises, large developers are being kept out of the loop in urban expansion plans all over the Netherlands. Instead, municipalities sell off single plots of land and keep restrictions low so that private individuals can create their own private “utopia”. Photographer Sonia Mangiapane visited a number of these new suburbs across Holland to capture their personalities and peculiarities. Sonia grew up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Australia and holds a general disdain for suburbia as a result. Since relocating to Amsterdam in 2012 she has become increasingly fascinated by how the Dutch do the ‘burbs, which led to the development of this series.
©Sonia Mangiapane zelfie