Lelystad, The Netherlands

Lelystad is a city on the water, a remarkable “New Town” built on reclaimed land recovered from Lake IJssel, and located around 40 km northeast of Amsterdam.  Lelystad is the product of several large-scale public works projects that included conversting The Netherlands' inland sea into a fresh water lake via an extensive dyke, followed by the reclamation of the Province of Flevoland from the lake, which was then supported by major transportation infrastructure, and the development of a provincial capital linked with cities in the region and the water. Read more about Leystad's recent developments featured in our Autumn 2012 Newsletter.


It's hard to believe the entire modern province was under water less than 100 years ago, and an interesting sight in Lelystad is to visit the locks, where you can see with your own eyes that Lelystad is located 4m below sea level. Lelystad is also the headquarters of Waterfronts NL's information centre, pictured below to the left.

Lake IJssel was created by several major engineering projects in the 20th Century, beginning with the construction of a 32 km dam across the Netherland’s largest inland sea in the 1930s. The water changed from salt water to fresh water, and in the 1960s and 1970s large land reclamation projects resulted in the creation of a large island – the Province of Flevoland. The Province includes six municipalities and an internationally-important 56 square kilometre nature park, the Oostvaardersplassen. The province is a contemporary example of what the Dutch have been doing for centuries, successfully managing land and water to improve natural and human habitats.


While Lelystad has a substantial central business and government district situated around its train station, it also has significant waterfront developments along its 17km-long coastline, including 5 marinas. Batavia is a satellite community west of Lelystad that includes a sheltered harbour adjacent to a mixed-use residential area with cafes, restaurants, and shops, a central plaza, the New Land Heritage Museum and the establishment of the National Marine Historical Centre, and the first retail shopping outlet of the Netherlands. Lelystad also has several public art elements dotted along its coastline, including the 26 m high metal structure called “Exposure”.


Waterfronts NL’s office and Information Centre is located in the heart of the Batavia Harbour, with a 360 degree view of the lake, marina, mixed-use residential area, and the green city of Lelystad. Several of our participants have also been involved in developments in Lelystad. Royal HaskoningDHV was assigned to develop Batavia Harbour’s marina, from idea through to construction, with supplies created and installed by Seijsener, and KuiperCompagnons was involved in the creation of a Coastal Vision for Lelystad Waterfront.