Dronten, Netherlands, Europe
Year1958latitude: 52° 31'
longitude: 5° 43'
Planning organizationWieringermeer Directorate
Nationality initiator(s)Netherlands
Designer(s) / Architect(s)J. van Tol
Design organization
Inhabitants26,000 (2005)
Target population
Town websitehttp://www.dronten.nl/
Town related links
Literature- Duin, R.H.A. van and G. de Kaste; The pocket guide to the Zuyder Zee project; 1990
- Wal, Coen van der; In Praise of Common Sense. Planning the Ordinary. A Physical Planning History of the New Towns in the IJsselmeerpolders; 1997

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy

First houses of Dronten, designed by Romke De Vries, August 1961
source: Nieuw Land Erfgoedcentrum, Lelystad

source: Nieuw Land

Dronten is a town as well as a municipality in the Eastern Flevoland polder in the central Netherlands. The municipality of Dronten consists of a town with the same name and two smaller villages, Biddinghuizen and Swifterbant. Today, the municipality of Dronten has a total population of 38,000, of which 6,000 reside in Biddinghuizen and 6,500 in Swifterbant.
After the Second World War it was assumed that in the new Eastern Flevoland polder urban centres of various shapes and sizes would have to be built. There should be a town of at least 25,000 inhabitants that could serve as the centre of the new polder. This large town is the present-day Lelystad. Furthermore, the construction of a smaller town with a population ranging between 5,000 and 15,000 was deemed necessary. This town, Dronten, would have a service function for the surrounding agricultural area. There would also be room for light industry. Early plans assumed that the central town of the municipality of Dronten would be surrounded by ten smaller villages. However, in a later stage of the planning process the number of villages was reduced to two, i.e. Biddinghuizen and Swifterbant.
The planning process for Dronten started in 1958; a year after the reclamation of Eastern Flevoland was completed. The independent architect and planner J. Van Tol was commissioned to make a plan for Dronten. Van Tol presented the final version of his plan in 1960. Construction started the same year. On January 1972, Dronten became a municipality. At that time the town of Dronten had 3,500 inhabitants. Since then, its population has increased to 26,000.
Today, Dronten is growing fast and is continually getting more urban facilities. Recently, the shopping centre has been renovated. Furthermore, the multifunctional centre 'De Meerpaal', which contains facilities for indoor sports, a theatre, a cafe and an indoor market, was rebuilt completely. Moreover, the Hanzelijn, the railway line connecting Lelystad with Zwolle, will run through Dronten. Completion is expected in 2013. The coming of this railway line will most likely offer new development opportunities for Dronten, since the new town will become more accessible to both the big cities of the western part of the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, etc.) and the Northern provinces.
Dronten houses many facilities for trade and light industry, particularly in the agricultural sector. The tourist business is also of major importance. Dronten boasts a long coastline along the so-called 'randmeren' (border lakes) of the Eastern Flevoland polder that offer ample opportunity for swimming and sailing. In addition, there are holiday parks and camping sites. In short, one might say that Dronten is a thriving town.


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