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Table 1 Background details about Slotermeer neighbourhood

From: Local professionals’ perceptions of health assets in a low-SES Dutch neighbourhood: a qualitative study

Amsterdam-Slotermeer (26.000 residents) is located in the city district Nieuw-West, on the west side of Amsterdam outside the city centre. It is a so-called ‘garden suburb’ built after the Second World War, implementing the vision of the urbanist Van Eesteren[15] with plenty of light, air and space; part of Slotermeer is a protected city view. Slotermeer is considered as a problem neighbourhood. Statistics for several health determinants, like smoking, unhealthy diet and lack of physical exercise, as well as for health parameters like obesity, diabetes, depression and suicide compare negatively to those in other parts of the city[16]. 29% of the residents reports severe loneliness; in Amsterdam as a total the severe loneliness rate is 11%[17]. The population includes more families and children, compared to other city districts. The 23% proportion of residents over 55 is similar to the Amsterdam average. The neighbourhood faces severe socioeconomic problems like high unemployment and debts, and residents rate the liveability as low in comparison to residents in other neighbourhoods[18]. Three out of ten households (28%) have a low income and a breadwinner with low educational level, which is 15% in Amsterdam over-all[17]. However, the neighbourhood has many active residents, amongst others in the highly successful ‘neighbourhood living rooms’ where residents meet for social activities. The cultural composition of the population is very diverse and over 60% are ‘Amsterdammers’ of non-western origin[17].