Amsterdam is the official capital of the Netherlands. It is the basic municipality (hemmeente) of the province of North Holland and the largest city in the Netherlands. It has a population of 820,654 (2012 figures) and a metropolitan area population of 2,289,762. It is one of the leading world cities in Europe, with a thriving commercial and tourist industry. The name means "dam (embankment) on the Amstel River" (see Dam Square). Although it is the constitutional capital of the Netherlands, most of the capital's functions are located in Den Haag, including the parliament, central government offices, royal palace, and embassies of various countries. Originally a small fishing village, the city was founded in the 13th century with the construction of a dam at the mouth of the Amstel River, and in the 16th century it developed into one of the leading cities in Europe as a port town for shipping trade. Today, Amsterdam is widely known for its network of canals, centered on Amsterdam Central Station, and the mansions of wealthy merchants from the era of the Governor-General that line the canals, bicycles, women with decorative windows, and Anne Frank's house.
Rotterdam : The Floating Architecture of Rotterdam, Holland Floating Farm, Floating houses, FOR : the Floating Office of Rotterdam
Since time immemorial the lowlands of the Netherlands have been plagued by storm surges and floods. Water mills and dykes have protected the country from floods since ancient times, but since the lowest point in the country is -6.76 meters below sea level and a quarter of the country is below sea level, the country has suffered from numerous floods. Also, since the Netherlands is a very small country (in comparison, the area occupied by the Netherlands is slightly less than twice the size of the state of New Jersey) there is not much available land that can be used for construction or agriculture. One of the solutions of Dutch architects is to use the water surface as land: the development of floating buildings is increasing. These floating structures rise and fall with the rise of the water. Floating buildings in the Netherlands are also more often than not SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) compatible.