Zeewolde, Netherlands, Europe
Year1980latitude: 52° 19'
longitude: 5° 31'
Planning organizationRijksdienst voor de IJsselmeerpolders (RIJP)
Nationality initiator(s)Netherlands
Designer(s) / Architect(s)Teun Koolhaas
Henk van Willigen
Design organizationEMPEO
Inhabitants19,000 (2005)
Target population
Town websitehttp://www.zeewolde.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

Nieuw Land Erfgoedcentrum
source: First houses of Zeewolde, 1983

source: Nieuw Land

Zeewolde is a town in the Flevoland province in the central Netherlands. It is situated in the polder of Southern Flevoland with the small lake called the Wolderwijd to the east. To the south is a large deciduous forest called the Horsterwold. The municipality of Zeewolde was founded in 1984 and is therefore one of the youngest in the Netherlands. Before 1984, the area was administrated by the Openbaar Lichaam Zuidelijke IJsselmeerpolders (ZIJP; in English this translates as Public Authority of the Southern IJsselmeer Polders).
Zeewolde was to be a nucleus primarily intended as a support center for the agrarian population of Flevoland's middle region. It was originally located centrally in the region, but the site was moved to the water's edge to take advantage of the recreational values that would be added in terms of water and forest land. In this location, Zeewolde would be attractive to both agrarian and non-agrarian settlers, and could grow to a size sufficiently large to provide adequate shopping and service facilities to the whole region.
The planning process for Zeewolde started in 1966. The Rijksdienst voor de IJsselmeerpolders (IJsselmeerpolders Development Agency or RIJP), a sub-department of the Ministry of Transport and Water Management, was charged with the task to produce an overall plan for Zeewolde. However, the RIJP Directorate decided to engage a private firm, the N.V. Maatschappij voor Projectontwikkeling 'EMPEO' (EMPEO Project Development Company). In 1969, EMPEO produced a Development Plan for Zeewolde. This was followed in February 1971 by a Concept Structure Plan for Zeewolde. However, in June 1971 planning for Zeewolde came to a standstill. National government did not seem the realization opportune, in view of the large expenditures and efforts already being given to the construction of Lelystad and Almere. The planning process was not resumed until May 1978, when the RIJP committed Henk van Willigen, one of its employees, to produce a preliminary overall plan. In early 1980, the RIJP created a Project Group Zeewolde, under the leadership of H.K. Wethmar. In 1981, this Project Group produced a Structure Plan for Zeewolde, which served as a basis for the continuation of the planning process. A prominent member of the Project Group Zeewolde was the urban planner and architect Teun Koolhaas, who had already worked on Almere. On January 1, 1984, Zeewolde became a municipality. In February, the first settlers received the keys to their houses.
Originally, Zeewolde was intended to house 30,000 residents. Today, Zeewolde is still a village rather than a town or a city. It has a population of approximately 20,000. To the west there is a lot of agriculture. However, Zeewolde is also well known for its recreational value. It boasts a beautiful marina. Moreover, two holiday resort were founded in the area. Over the years the importance of (light) industry has increased. Spyker, the only Dutch car manufacturer, has a plant in Zeewolde. Zeewolde is also famous for its landscape and nature art. The most famous art work is Sea Level by the American sculptor and video artist Richard Serra.


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