Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Flevoland is a province of the Netherlands. Located in the centre of the country, at the location of the former Zuiderzee, the province was established on January 1, 1986; the twelfth province of the country, with Lelystad as its capital. The province has approximately 330,000 inhabitants (March 2002) and consists of 6 municipalities.
After a flood in 1916, it was decided that the Zuiderzee, an inland sea within the Netherlands, would be closed and reclaimed. In 1932, the Afsluitdijk was completed, which closed off the sea completely. The Zuiderzee was subsequently called IJsselmeer.
The first part of the new lake that was reclaimed was the Noordoostpolder (Northeast polder). This new land included, among others, the former island of Urk and it was included with the province of Overijssel.
The Flevolands, Zuiderzee Works
Eastern Flevoland (Oostelijk Flevoland) and Southern Flevoland (Zuidelijk Flevoland), unlike Noordoostpolder, have peripheral lakes between them and the mainland: the Veluwemeer and Gooimeer, respectively.
They are two separate polders that have a joint hydrological infrastructure, with a dividing dike in the middle, the Knardijk, that will keep one polder safe should the other be flooded. The two main drainage canals that traverse the dike can be closed by weirs in such an event. The pumping stations are the Wortman (diesel powered) at Lelystad-Haven, the Lovink near Harderwijk and the Colijn (both electrically powered) along the northern dike beside the Ketelmeer.
A new element in the design of Eastern Flevoland is the larger city Lelystad (1966), named after the man who had played a crucial role in the design and realisation of the Zuiderzee Works. Other, more conventional settlements were already in existence by then; Dronten, the local major town, was founded in 1962, followed by two smaller satellite villages, Swifterbant and Biddinghuizen in 1963. These latter three would be incorporated in the new municipality of Dronten on January 1 1972.
Southern Flevoland has only one pumping station, the diesel powered De Blocq van Kuffeler. Because of the hydrological union of the two Flevolands it simply joins the other three in maintaining the water-level of both polders.
Almere relieves the housing shortage and increasing overcrowding on the old land. It was to be divided into 3 major settlements initially; the first, Almere-Haven (1976) situated along the Gooimeer (one of the peripheral lakes), the second and largest was to fulfill the role of city centre as Almere-Stad (1980) and the third was Almere-Buiten (1984) to the northwest towards Lelystad.
The Oostvaardersplassen is a landscape of shallow pools, islets and swamps.
The centre of the polder most closely resembles the pre-war polders in that it is almost exclusively agricultural. In contrast, the southeastern part is dominated by extensive forests. Here is also found the only other settlement of the polder, Zeewolde (1984), again a more conventional town acting as the local centre. Zeewolde became a municipality at the same time as Almere on January 1 1984, which in the case of Zeewolde meant that the municipality existed before the town itself, with only farms in the surrounding land to be governed until the town started to grow.
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