De Aker is a neighborhood that lies across a small canal from where I lived during the last half of 2000. My building was on the western edge of Osdorp, which is on the western edge of metropolitan Amsterdam.
De Aker was formerly known as Akerpolder, and it was as a polder that the area got its current boundaries. The dike-topped canals that defined its property still do so. About half of De Aker is now filled with sand, and part of the other half is being filled now. (The other part of the unfilled half is a 19th-century residential neighborhood of low brick houses very low along very small canals that line both sides of the straight road.)
The land on which my building sits, just outside of the polder, is filled to the level of the top of the dikes along the bordering canal. The land from that spot and East toward metropolis is filled to that approximate level.
The residential neighborhood that runs through the middle of De Aker is at the original ground level. The small canals that run along its street like large ditches are about 8 inches (20 cm.) below the level of the front lawns.
Between De Aker and my building, the water-level of the border-defining canal is about five feet (1½ meters) above the ground where those houses stand.