The unifished project – Growth Centers

Spijkenisse - Purmerend - Zoetermeer


Tablet - Desktop
Tablet - Desktop
Tablet - Desktop
Tablet - Desktop
Tablet - Desktop


International New Town Institute on behalf of the Growth Centers


Studies into the possibilities for the regeneration of established and dated growth centers.


2022 Lab participation
2022 Publication contribution


MLA+: Markus Appenzeller
International New Town Institute team lead by Michelle Provoost and Simone Rots

We changed

The history and future of growth centers, the youngest cities in the Netherlands


+ Call to work on the transformation with the same passion as on the initial construction
+ Aligning original visions from the 1970s with current challenges such as housing shortage, changing demographics, new typologies, new materials, open space and climate design
+ Fifteen opportunities for evolution


+ Circularity: Internal urban transformation, not continued expansion and new construction
+ Focus on the critical ecotope at the urban edge
+ Climate adaptation as opportunity


+ Transdisciplinary stakeholder investigation and advisory process
From the 1960s, the development discourse in the western world saw a radical shift. The view from outer space showed everyone for the first time the limits of planet Earth. Conservation institutions such as the WWF were founded in response to human impact on nature. The Club of Rome published its landmark report ‘The Limits to Growth’ in 1972. At the same time, population numbers still grew. A serious housing shortage remained, while rising wealth meant new lifestyles such as owning a car or owning a larger home. In the Netherlands the post 65 New Towns, the so called Groeikernen (Growth Centers), are urban extensions planned, designed and built with new ideals beyond the modernistic paradigm. 50 years later, however, these neighbourhoods face serious difficulties to adapt to climate and new demographics, resulting in dropping property values, structural underinvestment and a potential spiral of decline. A group of professionals, residents, and administration believes in a positive future of the post 65 new towns and started a process, that investigates history and opportunities. We rescued the original visions of the growth centres from oblivion. Surprisingly they link very strongly to the current pressing topics of housing shortage, climate adaptation, biodiversity etc. By linking challenges to opportunities, the transdisciplinary process advises the post 65 new towns on chances to move on.

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