Luttelgeest, Netherlands, Europe
Year1947latitude: 52° 45'
longitude: 5° 51'
Planning organizationWieringermeer Directorate
Nationality initiator(s)Netherlands
Designer(s) / Architect(s)Wieger Bruin
Design organization
Inhabitants2,255 (2020)
Target population2,000
Town website
Town related links
Literature- Duin, R.H.A. 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

Map of Luttelgeest, 1985
source: Nieuw Land Erfgoedcentrum, Lelystad

Original plan for Luttelgeest
source: Nieuw Land Erfgoedcentrum, Lelystad

Luttelgeest is located in the Noordoostpolder, a polder that was reclaimed between 1937 and 1942 and previously was part of the Zuiderzee. With over 30 kilometers of dike, an agricultural area of 460 km2 was added to the Dutch soil. The reclamation was a consequence of the Zuiderzee Act of 1918. Food supply had been elevated to a political priority after World War I and the economic crisis of the 1930s.
After the end of World War II, parcels of land in the Noordoostpolder were issued in 1947 to strictly selected farmers, mainly from the north of the country.

The design of the polder is based on the Central PLace Theory (1933) of German geographer Walter Christaller (1893-1969). He was the first to look at cities as a system in which smaller and larger cities form a network in relation to each other. He distinguished between A, B and C cities: small settlements, larger cities and regional centers.

Centrally located in the Noordoostpolder is the ‘capital’ Emmeloord, a city of the B-category. Around it, in a circle, are 10 villages of the A-category: Marknesse, Ens, Tollebeek, Luttelgeest, Nagele, Rutten, Creil, Kraggenburg, Espel and Bant. The later built Lelystad was meant as a city of the C-category. The two historic islands of Schokland and Urk became part of the polder through reclamation.

Luttelgeest is a village located in the eastern part of the Noordoostpolder, in close proximity to the provincial border with Friesland. It borders the Oosterringweg on its eastern side which connects Luttelgeest with surrounding villages such as Marknesse. On its north-western side, Luttelgeest borders with the Kuinderbos forest and with the Luttelgeestervaart (canal).

Spatially, the village is characterised by a triangular shape pointing southwards, a northern-oriented entrance to the village, and a dorpsbrink (village green). Before attaining its current shape, the design of the village had been subjected to several changes. The 1946 plan by the architecture firm De Rijk en De Vries to build the village according to a kruiswegdorp model was dismissed. Instead, the planning department of the Rijksdienst voor IJsselmeerpolders took over and designed a langsdorp positioned between the two major infrastructural arteries. Much like surrounding villages, the lay-out is characterised by rows of terraced houses which are either positioned parallel to each other and back to back, or in free-standing single rows. The central square was designed to give the newly built village a stronger communal sense.

As the Luttelgeest was meant to stay small and not form any competition to neighbouring Kuinre, it only housed a limited number of public amenities. Catering predominantly to its own population of farm workers, Luttelgeest accommodated several churches and a café and restaurant for communal gatherings.

source: INTI

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