Almere: A Modern Dutch City with a Young Population

Almere, located in the province of Flevoland, is a bustling city and municipality in the Netherlands. It is situated in the Southern Flevoland polder and currently has a population of 223,183. With a total area of 248.77 km², of which 129.19 km² is land and 119.58 km² is water, Almere is a city that lies both on the mainland and along the waterfront.

On the land side, Almere is bordered by the municipalities of Lelystad and Zeewolde, while it is surrounded by the Gooimeer, IJmeer, and Markermeer on the waterfront. An interesting fact is that Almere is situated below sea level, somewhere between 2 and 5 meters lower than the level of the surrounding lakes.

Almere originated in the last quarter of the twentieth century when it was developed as the second major city in the province of Flevoland. The oldest part of the city, Almere Haven, saw its first homes appear in 1976. Since then, Almere has surpassed Lelystad, the capital of Flevoland, which had a population of over 80,000 in 2021. In just 25 years, by 2001, Almere had already grown into a city with 150,000 inhabitants. In 2017, the city reached the milestone of 200,000 residents, making it the eighth-largest municipality in the Netherlands (just after Tilburg and well ahead of Breda).

Although originally planned as a city with multiple cores, this policy has been partially changed. Almere Buiten and Almere Stad have merged through the Tussen de Vaarten district. As one moves from the oldest to the newest residential areas, a change in housing policy becomes evident. In the 1970s, uniformity and functionality were central, while in the 1990s, the trend emerged to build more exclusive and distinctive homes, as seen in the Regenboogbuurt and Eilandenbuurt.

The centre of Almere Stad, the largest district, has expanded significantly. In 2006, the first part of the brand-new city centre, Citymall Almere, was completed. A notable building in this complex is the Citadel, designed by renowned architect Christian de Portzamparc, the winner of the Pritzker Prize. In early 2007, the new Schouwburg Almere was opened. This striking building, located on the Weerwater, was officially inaugurated by Queen Beatrix on June 8, 2007.

On October 3, 2016, the city reached the milestone of precisely 200,000 inhabitants.

Almere has a relatively young population, with approximately 28 per cent of residents being younger than 20 years old.


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