Designing Urban Experiences for a Suburban Population: The Case of Almere (Netherlands)

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In the planning of Almere special attention was paid to establishing attractive 

surroundings for modern middle class living. Accordingly the city was developed as a 

network of suburbs with ample space for gardens, parks etc., and with an infrastructure aimed 

at keeping different forms of transportation separate. For years the main attraction of the area 

was, that it provided comfortable housing in a relatively cheap way. Hence the population of 

Almere has grown to 185.000 inhabitants over the last 30 years, and it is now amongst the 10 

largest cities in the Netherlands. Moreover, as a consequence of the governmental policy for 

future regional development, agreed upon in the 1990es, Almere remains a kernel for future 

growth. The population of the city is expected to extend further in the next decades. In 2030 it 

should thus have 350.000 inhabitants, becoming by then the fifth largest city in the country. 

 Presently, the population’s satisfaction with living in Almere is relatively high, and 

emigration from the region to the “old mainland” is sparse. So the city faces the challenge of 

remaining an attractive place for its present inhabitants, while at the same attracting new 

dwellers, and also new segments of citizens with other preferences and more pronounced 

expectations (esp. upper middle class, which at the time being are largely absent). To face 

these challenges, the city council in 1995 decided to develop a new city centre, which should 

enhance Almere’s regional appeal and create a truly modern and attractive urban environment 

in what used to be a symbol of suburbia. The plan focused not only on building office space 

and commercial sites but also explicitly on generating opportunities for urban experiences. 

The famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas (OMA) was commissioned to make the master 

plan and supervise the project. By now the project is reaching completion, and the aim of our 

paper is thus to evaluate in how far the plan has succeeded in creating urban experiences. 


Original languageEnglish
Publication date2009
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventRegional Studies Association Annual Conference - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 6 Apr 20098 Apr 2009

Conference

ConferenceRegional Studies Association Annual Conference
CountryBelgium
CityLeuven
Period06/04/200908/04/2009

Fingerprint

inhabitant
Netherlands
middle class
experience
municipal council
large city
architect
city center
suburb
regional development
appeal
symbol
housing
infrastructure
citizen
planning
present
time

Keywords

  • experience design
  • experience economy
  • urban experiences
  • urban design
  • Almere
  • Rem Koolhaas

Cite this

Jantzen, C., & Vetner, M. (2009). Designing Urban Experiences for a Suburban Population: The Case of Almere (Netherlands). Paper presented at Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Leuven, Belgium.
Jantzen, Christian ; Vetner, Mikael. / Designing Urban Experiences for a Suburban Population : The Case of Almere (Netherlands). Paper presented at Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Leuven, Belgium.21 p.
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Jantzen, C & Vetner, M 2009, 'Designing Urban Experiences for a Suburban Population: The Case of Almere (Netherlands)', Paper presented at Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Leuven, Belgium, 06/04/2009 - 08/04/2009.

Designing Urban Experiences for a Suburban Population : The Case of Almere (Netherlands). / Jantzen, Christian; Vetner, Mikael.

2009. Paper presented at Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Leuven, Belgium.

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review

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T2 - The Case of Almere (Netherlands)

AU - Jantzen, Christian

AU - Vetner, Mikael

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - In the planning of Almere special attention was paid to establishing attractive surroundings for modern middle class living. Accordingly the city was developed as a network of suburbs with ample space for gardens, parks etc., and with an infrastructure aimed at keeping different forms of transportation separate. For years the main attraction of the area was, that it provided comfortable housing in a relatively cheap way. Hence the population of Almere has grown to 185.000 inhabitants over the last 30 years, and it is now amongst the 10 largest cities in the Netherlands. Moreover, as a consequence of the governmental policy for future regional development, agreed upon in the 1990es, Almere remains a kernel for future growth. The population of the city is expected to extend further in the next decades. In 2030 it should thus have 350.000 inhabitants, becoming by then the fifth largest city in the country.  Presently, the population’s satisfaction with living in Almere is relatively high, and emigration from the region to the “old mainland” is sparse. So the city faces the challenge of remaining an attractive place for its present inhabitants, while at the same attracting new dwellers, and also new segments of citizens with other preferences and more pronounced expectations (esp. upper middle class, which at the time being are largely absent). To face these challenges, the city council in 1995 decided to develop a new city centre, which should enhance Almere’s regional appeal and create a truly modern and attractive urban environment in what used to be a symbol of suburbia. The plan focused not only on building office space and commercial sites but also explicitly on generating opportunities for urban experiences. The famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas (OMA) was commissioned to make the master plan and supervise the project. By now the project is reaching completion, and the aim of our paper is thus to evaluate in how far the plan has succeeded in creating urban experiences. 

AB - In the planning of Almere special attention was paid to establishing attractive surroundings for modern middle class living. Accordingly the city was developed as a network of suburbs with ample space for gardens, parks etc., and with an infrastructure aimed at keeping different forms of transportation separate. For years the main attraction of the area was, that it provided comfortable housing in a relatively cheap way. Hence the population of Almere has grown to 185.000 inhabitants over the last 30 years, and it is now amongst the 10 largest cities in the Netherlands. Moreover, as a consequence of the governmental policy for future regional development, agreed upon in the 1990es, Almere remains a kernel for future growth. The population of the city is expected to extend further in the next decades. In 2030 it should thus have 350.000 inhabitants, becoming by then the fifth largest city in the country.  Presently, the population’s satisfaction with living in Almere is relatively high, and emigration from the region to the “old mainland” is sparse. So the city faces the challenge of remaining an attractive place for its present inhabitants, while at the same attracting new dwellers, and also new segments of citizens with other preferences and more pronounced expectations (esp. upper middle class, which at the time being are largely absent). To face these challenges, the city council in 1995 decided to develop a new city centre, which should enhance Almere’s regional appeal and create a truly modern and attractive urban environment in what used to be a symbol of suburbia. The plan focused not only on building office space and commercial sites but also explicitly on generating opportunities for urban experiences. The famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas (OMA) was commissioned to make the master plan and supervise the project. By now the project is reaching completion, and the aim of our paper is thus to evaluate in how far the plan has succeeded in creating urban experiences. 

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KW - bydesign

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KW - experience economy

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M3 - Paper without publisher/journal

ER -

Jantzen C, Vetner M. Designing Urban Experiences for a Suburban Population: The Case of Almere (Netherlands). 2009. Paper presented at Regional Studies Association Annual Conference, Leuven, Belgium.