Almere is the Netherland’s youngest city and is located in the Flevoland province. The city officially became a municipality in 1984, but Almere’s first home was constructed in 1976. Not surprisingly, the town is the largest in Flevoland and the seventh largest in the country.
Almere’s Brief History
The town of Almere was built on reclaimed land and was originally planned to address housing shortages in Schiphol and Amsterdam. The city is named after Zuiderzee, an early medieval name. Although the town is newly built, its soil dates back nearly ten thousand years. During prehistoric times, the area was a tundra zone and was also inhabited by humans. These nomadic inhabitants were hunters and gatherers who roamed from one place to another. The city of Almere and the province of Flevoland are rich in archaeological ruins that provide a glimpse into the country’s prehistoric past.
From the get-go, city planners envisioned an urban environment that made it simple and easy for residents to commute to Het Gooi and Schiphol. With Almere being only 30km south of Amsterdam, it is also easy for residents to commute to the country’s capital city as well.
Almere was originally designed as a nuclei of neighborhoods, each with their own identities and facilities. These nuclei would be unified with one common city center. This plan was eventually abandoned in order to allow for neighborhoods such as Tussen de Vaarten to be constructed.
Almere Haven was the first “nuclei” to be built. The first pile that was driven in 1974 would eventually go on to become a telephone exchange center. On the 1st of December in 1975, the first residents of the city were given keys to their temporary homes. Just one year later, the first brick homes were constructed. Housing projects in Almere Sad, another nuclei, were completed in 1979. The third nuclei, Almere Buiten, was constructed in the 1980s.
Although the city’s population is quickly growing, Almere is more of a suburban city rather than urban. It is home to many young families, open green parks and large garden areas. Part of the reason why the city has attracted a young population is because the city offers a lower cost of living and is safer than other surrounding cities.
Two more nuclei are in being developed in the city – Almere Hout and Almere Poort. Several more nuclei are still in the planning stages for the future. Almere is one of the fastest growing cities in all of Europe and is aiming to become the fifth largest city in the Netherlands in the next few decades.