The pioneer spirit is alive and well in Lelystad. This 50-year-old city has grown to host 78.000 residents. At the time of construction, the city structure was designed for 120.000 inhabitants, with plenty of open space, large avenues, streets and, consequently, high costs that are simply not affordable with the current number of residents. The Government also pays a financial contribution every year. The growth of Lelystad is lagging behind expectations and its own planning. In the 70s and 80s, a relatively large number of people moved into the city’s affordable social housing; Lelystad wants to be a diverse city and attract many different kinds of residents.
The amount of urban green areas, the nature in the surroundings and its position on the Markermeer present great opportunities for this pioneer city. Lelystad wants to attract the many people in search of housing in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA). With Lelystad Next Level, we want to embrace these opportunities. With the assets of this young society in mind, we take on today’s challenges and tomorrow’s chances, together. We pave the way for a society where every individual can participate, unfold their talents and feel involved. Participatory democracy is our priority. The basis is already there; this is why 77.000 residents have chosen Lelystad as their home.
The municipality of Lelystad, the province of Flevoland and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations have come to the conclusion that, 50 years from its construction, Lelystad is ready for the Next Level. With their partners in and outside the city, they want to define a “Next Level approach” for the coming 15 years, to turn Lelystad into an attractive, sustainable city which is also financially sound and independent. Over Morgen has been asked to accompany this project.
Lelystad needs a Next Level shift on various levels. By capitalising on the regional economic assets, they want to obtain the added value needed to strengthen their socio-economic structure and the residents’ societal potential. To achieve this goal, we need a Next Level organisation and a Next Level strategy.
Next Level organisation
To compile the agenda, we have started our analysis by setting up five sub-tables: Societal Strength, Distinctive Education, Excellence in Living Environments, Next Level Economics and Nature, Recreation and Tourism. The project is entirely coordinated by the main round table for Lelystad Next Level, to ensure harmony and synergy among the sub-tables.
The analysis was finalised by setting clear goals and designing an agenda for action, which includes decisions on the results to be achieved, the necessary approach, partners, indicative funding and the time-scale. The practical implementation will be then further discussed with all different partners in the city.
Next Level strategy
The Lelystad Next Level strategic agenda sets the course for the implementation programme, with the intended long-term goals and short-term actions. We need innovative insights and approaches to tackle longer-term issues and problems. The tasks that stand before Lelystad are challenging and complex and require input and cooperation from many parties, some of which are still out of our focus.
This programme requires a long-term implementation strategy and long-term stakeholder involvement. We need durable binding agreements for common action between different parties to turn Lelystad into a strong, sustainable society. The agreements made will then be adjusted on the basis of subsequent evaluations and of the most successful experiences. Maintaining these strong ties between parties requires a high level of energy throughout the process, open conversations about different and possibly conflicting interests, and the courage to experiment. The Next Level strategy contains a series of programme lines with binding tasks.