With the city of Almere’s growth expected to require thousands of new residences, work places and related facilities, MVRDV was commissioned to collaborate with the city to design a concept structure vision to accommodate such drastic expansion. MVRDV’s Vision 2030 will create a framework to satisfy the growth for about 20 years. ”The structure vision for Almere is more than an urban master plan…” said Adri Duivesteijn, city councilor of Almere, “…it describes how the city can develop in economic, cultural and social terms. The expansion is not a quantitative effort. Even though the number of 60,000 new homes is impressive, the main objective is the addition of new qualities. Almere wants to serve the demand of the Randstad and at the same time needs the chance to develop into an ecologic, social and economically sustainable city”.
More about the city plan after the break.
Almere transformed in thirty years from an empty stretch of land to a city of 185,000 inhabitants. Now, the city is once again undergoing transformation as it diversifies by introducing various densities, programs and characters. MVRDV’s new plan consists of four major development areas “each with their own character, logic and identity.” The areas include: Almere IJland, Almere Pampus, Almere Centre, and Almere Oosterwold.
Almere IJland, a new island off the coast of IJ-Lake, (designed with Adriaan Geuze of West8 and William McDonough) is a series of urban and nature reserve islands with the primary objective to improve water quality in the lake. With the potential to house 5,000 and 10,000 residences, the exact future of the island is flexible and can adapt to fit a variety of programmatic needs. Almere Pampus, a high density area with 20,000 homes, will focus on the existing harbor and be open to experimental housing. In time, Almere Centre will become the cultural and economical heart of the city in addition to the 5,000 homes, offices and public amenities and new programs it will feature. The last component, Almere Oosterwold, will reserve areas for future development after 2030 as it devoted to more rural and organic urbanism.
A new network of infrastructure will connect the metropolitan area of Amsterdam with Almere at Almere IJland, which will serve as “a connector, literally as well as economically and culturally”. The network will eventually connect Almere Pampus to Utrecht, yet the infrastructure will require large investments to become the successful component needed to connect with the rest of the area.
The plan will reach success because it is a flexible development strategy. Duivesteijn explains, “It is a framework which can be filled in by the people of the city. By remaining flexible we create possibilities to adjust the plans to future opportunities.”