Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. Long articles have been summarised. All articles have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to thank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the articles into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.
The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl . The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.
Below you find 8 articles with the following titles:
1. ‘Almere won’t escape aircraft noise’
2. Expats feel at home in Almere
3. A flock of sheep as a lawnmower
4. Experience the basics of golf, at the Open Golf Day
5. Registration for the WTC Trappenloop (Stair Run)
6. Almeersepoort to become gateway to Oostvaardersplassen
7. Twenty-somethings head for Almere
8. Living in a Tiny House
‘Almere won’t escape aircraft noise’ (page 1)
by Hestia Ruben
ALMERE – When Lelystad Airport becomes operational Almere will not escape aircraft noise, particularly from landing aircraft. Almere aviation journalist, John Assmann, says, “In order to align themselves for landing, aircraft will fly at relatively low altitudes over parts of Almere – and most residents will hear them.”
There are still many uncertainties surrounding the official opening of the Flevoland airport, but it is certain that residents will have to deal with noise from aircraft destined for Lelystad airport. Assmann: “This is because of the location from which Boeing and Airbus planes will be directed to start their landing approach. They will use runway 05, named after the compass bearing of the runway, i.e. 50°, or northeast.”
There is a point near Almere Buiten, on the southeast side of the A6 (the red dot on the map). This is 6 miles (11.12 km) from the beginning of the runway and the aircraft must be at 2,000 feet (608 meters) at this point, to start the last part of the landing phase. This approach cannot be altered and must be followed by any aircraft wishing to land on Runway 05.
“Air traffic control will direct the aircraft to fly as directly as possible to the descent point at Almere Buiten and this will give Almere Haven, Almere Hout, Kathedralenbos and Cirkelbos full exposure to aircraft noise.
Almere Poort will also not be spared, with planes flying over the Hollandse Brug. Aircraft from the north, west and east will first fly parallel to the runway (green line on the map) in the direction of Almere Haven and then turn in to the point of the final landing phase.
When all this will happen is still unclear because there is still a lot to be done, including the division of the airspace above and near Flevoland airport. But Almere will certainly suffer when future holidaymakers fly from Lelystad Airport on their way to the sun.
Within the current airspace structure, the number of aircraft movements at Lelystad Airport should not exceed 10,000 until the revision of airspace in 2023. This is stated in the Environmental Impact Report (EIA). Lelystad Airport ultimately wants to expand to 45,000 aircraft movements. The revision will redesign Dutch airspace in order to reduce consequences such as noise in surrounding areas. The connection routes for Lelystad Airport will then be at higher altitudes.
The aircraft must be at an altitude of 608 meters at the red dot in order to commence the final part of the landing phase. Aircraft from the north, west and east will first fly parallel to the runway (green line) in the direction of Almere Haven.
An I.L.S. approach (Instrument Landings System) can be made on runway 05 at Lelystad Airport. This enables the pilot to fly the approach and land exactly on the runway, without any view of the ground. Only when the underside of the cloud cover is at an altitude of below 60 meters and the horizontal view of the runway is less than 550 meters must the pilot abort the landing and divert to another airport.
Expats feel at home in Almere (Page 9)
by Robert Mienstra
ALMERE – Almere is home to no less than 4,000 expats. “Our association calls them internationals,” says Michel Daenen, chair of the International Almere association. “Expats are temporary residents in the Netherlands, who have been sent from abroad by international companies to work here. This group lives mainly in Amsterdam South and on the canals of central Amsterdam. But there are also many internationals who come to the Netherlands for other reasons.
Often they are highly educated knowledge workers, who come to the Netherlands with their partner or whole family, to work and live here. You can see this group growing in Amsterdam, but also in Almere. “The Facebook group, International Almere, already has more than 1,200 active members and continues to grow”, says Daenen. Almere is attractive for this group. “Important reasons for this are the green character of the city, its location close to Amsterdam, Almere’s great public transport system, the space, affordable housing and also, certainly, the city center. Many internationals describe the center as something very special.
Life for an international in Almere is not without its challenges. “An international who settles in Almere immediately faces the question, ‘how do I build a life here’? All kinds of practical questions arise. ‘Where can I find information?’ ‘What about a family doctor – and a dentist?’ ‘How do I find friends?’ ‘How do I learn the language?’”, says Daenen. “And, very importantly, ‘what about education in Almere?’”
For expats in particular, the presence of an international school, such as the International School in Almere Poort, is of great importance. Daenen is convinced of this. “A school like this is a very important argument for foreign companies to establish themselves in Almere. Expats who live here temporarily want their children to go to an English-language school.”
The International Almere association serves its target group in Almere via numerous activities. “We have the Dutch language café. Where we practice speaking Dutch. The Dutch are quickly inclined to speak to foreigners in English. That doesn’t help if you want to learn the language. At the café only Dutch is spoken. That’s the quickest way to learn the language”, explains Daenen. “Furthermore we have First Friday Night Drinks, in Café on 2. Here internationals can meet and make friends. And, again, learn the language. Then there is Quiz Night, a pub quiz on many subjects, with English as the main language.”
Almere DEZE WEEK in English
The association is now increasingly focusing on supporting its members. “For example, if you have a letter from the municipality and you can’t yet read Dutch very well, we’ll explain it”, says Daenen.
“Another new feature is that articles from Almere DEZE WEEK are translated into English by the Almere translation agency, Courtesie, and published on the website www.internationalalmere.com. Internationals really want to know what’s going on in Almere. Through this service they get the news and information about all kinds of activities in the city. Which makes internationals feel more at home in Almere.”
The internationals are very satisfied with Almere. “As previously said, they appreciate the nature, the city center and Almere’s location close to Amsterdam. And they really feel safe, here in the city. The latter is often mentioned in the satisfaction survey that we carried out.”
The internationals praise Almere as a family city. “There are many activities here for them, especially for the children. I often hear them say that Almere has a comforting atmosphere and that it’s really a peaceful place. And yes, the location is close to Amsterdam. For many internationals, this is a small distance. These are people accustomed to much longer distances. Compare traveling right across London, from the east to the west side, for instance!”
For more information, please visit www.internationalalmere.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. This site also carries articles from Almere DEZE WEEK, in English.
A flock of sheep as a lawnmower (page 11)
DE MEENTEN – The lawnmowers can go! Almere’s sheep herd will once more be trimming the grass in various locations in Almere over the coming period. Councilor Frits Huis welcomed the sheep herd last Wednesday.
In a number of places in Almere, the grass is no longer mowed by a lawnmower, but by Schoonebeeker sheep. This special herd of sheep, with its shepherd and sheepdog, graze their way from Almere Haven, via the Hoge Vaart to the Noorderplassen, and back again. The sheep herd will commence their grazing at De Grienden, in Almere Haven.
Experience the basics of golf, at the Open Golf Day (page 17)
HOUT – From 12 noon on Saturday 21 April, everyone can get to know the vibrant Almeerderhout Golf Club association and its golf course – and learn the basics of golf in a relaxed atmosphere.
The hostesses and hosts are ready to teach visitors the golf swing, how to putt and how to get out of a bunker. For the youngest of the potential golfers a fun and exciting golf course has been set up. The experienced golfer can play 9 holes, free of charge, on one of the challenging courses. The fully-fledged PAR 3 course can also be played at no charge.
Visitors can also relax in Grand Café ‘t Hout, where a special ‘Open Day menu’ is available.
Interested? Information will also be provided on the various forms of membership, which will be offered at special rates at the open day. For registration and information visit www.almeerderhout.nl or call 036-5219130. The Almeerderhout Golf Club is located at Watersnipweg 19-21.
Registration for the WTC Trappenloop (Stair Run) (page 35)
CITY CENTER – Yes, it’s 32 floors, straight up. That’s over 600 punishing steps. So if you want to participate in the WTC Stair Run on Wednesday 25 April – limber up those calf muscles!
In just under two months it will again be time for perhaps the most unique running event in Almere: the WTC Stair Run. And it’s of course planned for precisely 25 April – ‘No Elevators Day’. The WTC will then once again open its doors in the City Center (‘Stad’), to welcome the hundreds of runners who compete in this extraordinary and exhausting battle of the stairs. Participants will ascend 32 floors via more than 600 steps. At the top, once they have overcome the lactic acid buildup, the runners will be able to enjoy spectacular views over the whole of Almere and the surrounding area.
This year there will again, of course, be a competition for individual runners, but there will also be a Business Run and the Firefighters series. And there’s something for the children, who can participate in the regular Kids Run or the Football Kids Run. Full information on this special run on Wednesday 25 April can be found on our website.
Because the WTC Stair Run is such a unique event, registrations are always numerous and start early. It is advisable not to wait too long before registering. It’s also particularly advantageous to register before 1 April, to take advantage of the lower, early-registration rates.
18.15 Start, Kids (Football) Run (200 steps)
18:25 Start, Business Run
18.40 Start, Firefighters series
18.45 Prize giving, Kids Run
19.15 Start, Individual series
20.30 Prize giving – Individual runners, Firefighters Series & Business Run
Almeersepoort to become gateway to Oostvaardersplassen (page 39)
ALMERE – The municipality has plans to develop Almeersepoort as the entrance zone to the Oostvaarderplassen, which will become part of the Nieuw Land National Park.
Almeersepoort is being developed in order to make the National Park easier to find and access, and also to distribute visitor traffic. The gateway will offer both access to and an experience of the Oostvaardersplassen. The Almeersepoort will get new landscape features that will offer a real Oostvaardersplassen experience.
National Park Nieuw Land is a tourist and recreational development by the province of Flevoland and is aimed at generating an increase in visitor numbers. The core areas of the National Park are Oostvaardersplassen, Marker Wadden, Lepelaarplassen and Markermeer.
The area is easily accessible, due to its convenient location on the borders of Almere. The Almeersepoort will offer a beautiful view over the extensive plains and lakes, where various wild animals can be seen. The area will invite one to discover nature with family and friends. The vastness and diversity of the area mean that everybody can experience it in his or her own way. There are excursions and various activities all year round.
One of Almeersepoort’s ambitions is to double the number of visitors in the next ten years. Natuurbelevingcentrum De Oostvaarders (Oostvaarders nature experience center) plays an important role in this and will therefore also be the location for Staatsbosbeheer’s (national parks) hosting, programming, management, workshops and storage facilities, on the Almere side of the Oostvaardersplassen. The challenge is to further develop the building to become a location that complements the ambitions of the next ten years. The completion of the Almeersepoort project will take place in the year preceding the start of the Floriade, and in this way will make a contribution to the Growing Green Cities movement, in which Almere aims to play a significant role.
Twenty-somethings head for Almere (page 45)
ALMERE – Almere is part of one of the fastest growing regions in the Netherlands and occupies a very special position in this respect. The housing market, even in a growth region, is not immune to the economic climate. However, now that the crisis is over, the flow of new residents is picking up again. And twenty-somethings, in particular, are rediscovering Almere.
Affordable family homes (both for sale and rental) form an important attraction in this respect. The area generates strong interest in the Amsterdam, Lelystad and the Gooi and Vecht regions, while the effect on Utrecht is less marked.
For the time being, spatial planning will continue to dominate the housing market. Almere is one of the few municipalities in the Amsterdam Metropole Region where it is possible to build without too many spatial restrictions, and this includes low density developments. Family homes with a purchase price of between € 150,000 and € 200,000 are very much in demand among (potential) young families.
Living in a Tiny House (page 47)
‘I feel privileged to be able to live here’
by Kirsten Thuis-Woudenberg
HOMERUSKWARTIER – Hennie Tibben is the first occupier of a Tiny House. For the past six months, this brand new Almere resident has been living in a so-called ‘Wikkelhouse’, made of corrugated cardboard. The mini-house has 50 square meters of gross floor area and stands on the showgrounds of Bouwexpo Tiny Housing on the Nimpfenplein. The Tiny House creates a very special ‘home feeling’ for Tibben. “It’s not an everyday house and it was difficult to get to live here”, says Tibben. “I therefore feel privileged to be allowed to live here. The house feels very nice and secure. The inside is made of wood and that creates a warm atmosphere.”
Tibben did not find the transition from large to small a problem. “Before this I lived in a three-floor family home of about 100m2. I wanted a simpler life in which one is less involved with possessions. In the run-up to the move to this house I was already busy getting rid of things, as my old house was already sold. I have a separate storage location, for the things I don’t need. And my new home is really uncluttered, and that feels good. I find the feeling of simplicity very soothing.”
According to Tibben, the house doesn’t feel small. “The ceiling is high, which makes it feel spacious. I didn’t want to do without furniture. I wanted a spacious kitchen – but not with a folding table. So I have a large table for entertaining dinner guests. I also work at this table and it’s a nice place to be.”
According to Tibben, living in this location sometimes feels like living in a showroom. “The Manifestatie Tiny Housing (the tiny house expo) drew 5,000 people to the grounds. A quarter of them came into my house. It’s sometimes difficult dealing with the rudeness of some people. They just look into all your drawers. It sometimes feels as if you’re a kind of attraction. But I really live here! And I work here too.”
Almere was unknown to Tibben before she moved into her Tiny House. “I am getting to know Almere better and better by participating in all kinds of activities. I took part in the cycle tour, ‘Dwars door Poort’ (through the Poort district), and Gluren bij de Buren’ (how the neighbors live). I then even had a band performing in my living room! I have lunch once a week in the neighborhood center to get to know people. I’ve noticed that there is a lot of opportunity for initiative in this city. For me, that started with this house. I’ve also attracted clients from the city, for my marketing business, because they see that I’m sticking out my neck.”
Tibben started a clean-up operation because she was disturbed by the litter in the neighborhood. “Collecting litter is the ultimate way of getting rid of clutter in your life. Working with ‘Almere Poort Schoon’ (clean up Almere) I organize litter collection operations together with other residents. On Sunday 8 April we are going to do another clean-up, from 10.00 to 12.00. Anyone can participate. The group meets in Espressobar Take a Brake. More information can be found on the Almere Poort Schoon Facebook
Note: All of the above articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition April 4, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl