Two weeks ago, during the special lecture of PARABOLA, I was particularly interested in the Almere Principles — being for the interest of ecologically, socially, and sustainable future of Almere 2030. thus, I took on further interest into such new town design and its growth towards a liveable and healhy city in 2030 by William McDonough + Partners.
Such design claims that it will continuously renew and transform itself — strengthening the qualities of its polycentric structure and environment. Furthermore, it brings a lot of promise to the diverse living and working aspects if the community — complimented with a beneficial abundance of open space, water, natural, and cultivated landscapes that can change over time.
However, it’s not because of a strategic plan that has been established for Almere that it becomes and seems to promising to its development and growth for the next decades. The realization of such is through the act of culture and optimistic vision towards the future. Some of the key points include
It’s not just about encouraging biodiversity, but about offering space to various professional and social groups as well as a stable if age groups and families. Within its plans, it constitutes in establishing a comprehensive society with schools, offices, shops, parks, recreational areas, and companies. Such will be complimented as a commuting town with a great balance and variety of modern and sustainable buildings and facilities.
—Connect place and context
A strategic advisor of the development of such city is Alex Van Oost. He has lead the integration of the A6 motorway as one of the most interesting examples of full paved roads to keep Almere very accessible. Another sustainable design strategy is the inclusion of the ‘wadis’ being shallow ditches with grass for surface water to be collected and hopefully compliment such with an ecological water purification system afterwards.
—Combine city and nature
This might be one of the most natural principles for Almere. Since 1976, it has been called the ‘blue-green’ city considering its array of green spaces and strong connections with water.Designers are continued on being invited to design buildings that make a smarts life of other species easier.
This is the most noticeable aspect of all. There are many places in the city that has no activity going on — neither with houses or offices. Therefore, such are crucial spaces for future design and construction!
Another important aspect that goes along with the latter is the involvement of local resident — especially because there are some locations that have an explicit character to themselves.
The Cascadepark in Almere Poort is a good example to take on this principle. The area is a test ground for real estate. Even though the project is barely standing on its feet, there’s some initial designs that have been submitted and their are still considered to be ‘old school’ for what’s left to come.
—Design healthy systems
According to Van OOst, the Zoneiland Almere gives a good location for the construction of 7000m2 of solar collectors — coupled with the city’s heating system | first time on-site solar generated heating will take place in the Netherlands houses. The only skeptical through is the generation of surplus solar energy in such a neighborhood for the supply energy of the surrounding neighborhoods.
—Empower people to make the city
Acknowledging citizens to be the driving force in creating, sustaining, and maintaining the city — it is through the facilitation of the possibilities of the overall design of the city that the general public is allowed to pursue their own unique potential.
Finally, the Almere Principles will only come into play through human action and by incorporating each onto a level into the design of the city of the whole.