They still believe in ten years everything will be back and fine, and then they can go back to the old plans. And in the end nobody knows, I think it will never be like before
— Sascha Glasl, architect and co-founder of Space and Matter



After the crisis in 2008, it seemed urban development had come to a standstill for a while. But to some people the empty plots of land seemed to beg to be put to good use. Abandoned shipyard De Ceuvel was one of these places.

In 2012 a multidisciplinary group took the initiative to turn this empty and polluted piece of land into a work- and meeting place. Proving that you don't need money to develop an area, they decided to use a DIY approach and construct offices out of a very common Dutch waste product: scrap houseboats.

URBAN TIDES documents the realization of a dream by an odd collection of visionary urbanites and how its unintended side effects are highlighting challenges familiar to cities and communities around the world.

It was just the time, the time made it possible and the crisis was like, supporting these projects
— Sascha Glasl


23 jul '15

Première (private screening)
Metabolic Lab De Ceuvel

29 jul '15

Open screening
Metabolic Lab De Ceuvel

4 aug '15

Open screening
Metabolic Lab De Ceuvel

21 aug '15

Open screening
Metabolic Lab De Ceuvel

5 okt '15

Wageningen University
Sustainability Festival

8 okt '15

8 okt '15

Green Office launchweek
VU Amsterdam

9 okt '15

12 nov '15

Open screening
ASCA Cities Project

13-17 apr '16

Architecture + Design Film Festival Winnipeg

2 apr '16

Ethnografilm, Paris

17 apr '16

Green Office Groningen

13 may '16

Project Oberstadt, Mönchengladbach

18 may '16

Allee du Kaai, Brussels

2-10 jun '16

Smaragdni Eco Film Festival

8 jun '16

Pakhuis de Zwijger

16-19 jun '16


12 jul '16

Communitism Midterm, Athens

4 aug '16

Zunda Garden, in collaboration with Free Riga

12-16 oct '16

Arquiteturas Film Festival, Lisbon

14-16 oct '16

Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival 2016

We didn't have tools or equipment to actually do construction or design products but we decided to do it anyway because it was an opportunity of a lifetime to prove that what we think should be the way people develop cities is actually possible
— Eva Gladek, founder and CEO of Metabolic

who made this film?

Simone EleveldDirector

Simone Eleveld is a filmmaker based in Amsterdam. Inspired by the hands-on mentality at De Ceuvel she started filming the proces. As the piles of footage grew larger, it slowly turned into her documentary debut. After finishing her studies in Cultural Analysis and Literature, she started working as a filmmaker in 2013. The interaction between grassroots movements and authorities continue to fascinate her and the theme regularly pops up in her work.

Camera Crew

Like the project it documents, this film wouldn't have been possible without the effort of many volunteers. This varied group of filmmakers, both starting and experienced, helped us to capture the story behind De Ceuvel. Thank you all so much!

  •    - Toon Maassen
  •    - Chris Monaghan
  •    - Merel Deelder
  •    - Anouk Tuitel
  •    - Marit Schilling
  •    - Julian Philbert
  •    - Leonore Snoek
  •    - Art Kallen
  •    - Wendy Flikweert

Egle MatuzonytèMusic and sound design

Egle Matuzonytè is a sound artist and electronic music composer from Lithuania. After studying Sonic Arts in London, she moved to Amsterdam, where she continues to create music and sound design for various fields - from advertising and sonic branding to interactive sound installations, game sound, dance projects and movies. Besides music and sound design for Urban Tides, her recent work includes soundtrack for Lithuanian alternative documentary about Vilnius, short dance movie 'Treeo' which has won a Jury award at 'Cinedans' festival, sonic branding projects with 'Massive Music' agency and sound for an upcoming iPhone game 'Nova's Odyssey'.

Cynthia Mooij, Chris Monaghan, Chandar van der ZandeProducers on behalf of Metabolic Foundation

Metabolic Foundation is the non-profit arm of Metabolic, currently located in Amsterdam and Jamaica. It aims to build capacity within communities to make resources more accessible to the urban poor. Cynthia Mooij, Chris Monaghan and Chandar van der Zande helped with the launch and production of the documentary on behalf of the foundation team in Amsterdam. Passionate about the development of De Ceuvel, they wanted to help share the story. By documenting the bottom-up approach, and insight into new types of developments, the foundation team wishes to inform and inspire its partners all around the globe.


Mail the director:

For bookings:

metabolic amsterdamse fonds voor de kunst creative industries fund NL