Quite an accomplishment, building an entire province from scratch. Still, that’s exactly how Flevoland came into being: manmade land, a good four metres below sea level and secured by miles of dykes. But then Flevoland is never really finished. Probably something to do with that twentieth-century soil under our feet we reckon; it seems to exert an effect on people. Nowhere else offers more space for innovative ideas than right here. As all Flevolanders are well aware: the sky is the limit.
Taken together, Flevoland’s three polders form the largest piece of manmade land on the planet. The islands which already existed in the Zuiderzee (Schokland and Urk) were marooned in the new land when the sea was drained. Things happen here like nowhere else. How about an open air three kilometres long artificial ice-skating track? Need a wind break… we simply put up wind turbines. And if a dyke needs to be rebuilt, we go for it in an entirely new way.
Everything you see was created on the drawing board. The orderly parcels of agricultural land. The straight roads. The canals. And of course: the spaces dedicated to nature. These designated areas of natural beauty have continued to develop to become fascinating wild polder landscapes. A good example is the extensive wetland area in the Nieuw Land National Park, another is the Netherlands’ largest continuous deciduous woods. We are currently creating the Marker Wadden group of artificial islands in the wide waters that surround Flevoland in a bid to attract more fish and birds to the Markermeer lake. Nature is already reclaiming its own, as of course it certainly should.
No other landscape in the Netherlands breathes ‘20th century’ as much as Flevoland does. The modern polder cities are in part architectural museums, featuring the work of such world renowned architects as Rem Koolhaas. There is also space for experimental designers to practise their craft. And nowhere else in the world will you discover so much spectacular landscape art in just one day. The province is continuously renewing. The ports and airports are state-of-the-art and maintained that way, the next Floriade international exhibition and garden festival to be held in 2022 is already under construction and plenty of opportunities exist for the self builders to realize their own dream houses. Here you even have the space to get together and construct your own neighbourhood.