Marknesse, Netherlands, Europe
Year1943latitude: 52° 43'
longitude: 5° 52'
Planning organizationWieringermeer Directorate
Nationality initiator(s)Netherlands
Designer(s) / Architect(s)Wieger Bruin
Design organization
Inhabitants3,780 (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
- Assen, Sandra van, Tuinstra, Bauke, Ekamper, Tamara; De Noordoostpolder-dorpen: DNA van een dorp als bouwsteen voor de toekomst; 2010

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

Dorpsplan (Village Plan), 15-02-1949
source: Directorate of the Wieringermeer

Functional plan (Bestemmingsplan), 27-06-1941
source: Directorate of the Wieringermeer

source: Nieuw Land

Marknesse 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.

Marknesse is connected to two other planned villages Luttelgeest and Kraggenburg and the main town of the Noordoostpolder, Emmeloord. Marknesse is connected through two roads and three canals meeting in the village. The latter divide the village up into three parts with the centre in the larger, northern part of the village.

Although the construction of the current village began in 1948, the roots of Markenesse lay in the second World War. Its predecessor is widely considered as the Barrack camp Dorp B which had been built in 1942 to house farm workers. Many of these workers were men forced by the Nazi occupiers to work. Instead of having to move to Germany, they were allowed to contribute to food production in the Netherlands, as it was mostly for use in Germany.

The Dorpsplan from 1949 shows the initial construction of the village north of the canals. Instead of centring the village around a central square, the main artery of the village seems to be a wide street or rather a narrow square that splits the northern from the southern part. This ostensible lack of centrality becomes also evident through the dispersion of the public amenities throughout the village.

source: INTI

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