A Dutch city with ambition
The expansion of Almere continues apace, and its ambition is to double in size over the next 20 years. But why is this huge amount of space still available, even though the city is situated just 20 minutes from Amsterdam? That's because, in typical Dutch tradition of reclaiming land from water, Almere has been built on an area that used to be submerged beneath a large lake (the IJsselmeer).
Why live in Almere?
Almere has a modern and attractive city centre and five districts and boroughs. It is well known for its striking architecture and showcases the work of famous architects like Rem Koolhaas, SANAA and Claus en Kaan in the city centre. The vibrant centre is home to more than 350 shops, interesting cultural venues like the Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland (KAF), De Nieuwe Bibliotheek (the new library) and a cinema. A wide variety of cultural events and festivals take place throughout the year. In the summer, spectacular outdoor theatre performances by theatre groups Suburbia and Vis à Vis are held at Kemphaan Country Park and on the Almeerderstrand beach. Almere also boasts more than 300 indoor and outdoor sports facilities and more than a hundred sports clubs. In addition, more and more of Almere’s residents participate in activities like trail biking, inline skating, hiking, waterskiing and rowing.
Almere’s six train stations provide connections between Amsterdam, Utrecht, Groningen, Den Haag and many other cities. It offers reasonably priced accommodation and allows residents to easily commute to and from Amsterdam each day, as the city is just 20 minutes away by train. A direct train also runs between Almere and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, with a travel time of less than half an hour. A very reliable bus network also connects most of the surrounding cities. The service uses its own bus lanes to avoid traffic delays.
Schools and education in Almere
Almere is home to two Universities of Applied Sciences, 17 secondary schools and almost 100 primary schools. The city has public schools as well as schools that provide lessons based on a particular pedagogical vision or religious conviction. Examples of the former are the Dalton, Montessori or Jena-plan educational systems. There are also schools based on Catholic, Reformed, Protestant, Ecumenical and Islamic principles, along with schools that offer a high standard of special needs education.
Sustainability and innovation
Almere was established as a suburban city, providing a sustainable alternative to the dense, urbanised metropolitan region of Amsterdam. The city was built implementing a multi-centred structure, incorporating the surrounding water and nature as much as possible. This has resulted in a unique city with distinct ‘blue’ and ‘green’ characteristics. Almere is a city where innovations can thrive, which is essentially what the new town character of Almere is all about. For example, on the western side of town a whole area has been built on floating panels, creating the possibility of building inside the waterfront. Furthermore, the entire city is equipped with traffic-free bus lanes, extending from the outskirts to the city centre, which is why residents and visitors regularly use public transportation instead of cars. Moreover, the whole city is fitted with fibre optics, allowing internet at any location.
A diverse city with plenty to offer
Above all, Almere is a pleasant city for its residents, with great diversity in religion, ethnicity and culture. The largest ethnic population after the Dutch is the Surinamese. Almere is also home to Moroccans, Turks, Ghanaians, Antilleans, Americans and Indonesians. Altogether, Almere is home to residents of 181 different ethnicities and 153 different nationalities.
More information can be found on Almere's comprehensive English-language website.