The MVRDV project Almere Oosterwold ‘Freeland’ is proposed as a radically liberated place where you are able to define your own living space. Freeland celebrates individual desire: You can build whatever you want, in whatever shape you like, you decide how to use your space and how to behave. The principle is simple: "You can do (almost) everything you want, but you have to organize everything by yourself."
Jeroen Zuidgeest has been in charge of the design development and project management at MVRDV.
It is an attempt to develop a masterplan driven by the collective intelligence and creativity of the future community. By developing initiatives step by step, the area will gradually transform the existing situation into a diverse living and working landscape. Limits are set to ensure the rural character of the area is maintained: 59% will be developed as urban agriculture, 18% area for construction, 8% roads, 13% public green, 2% water. Based on the existing qualities and conditions – roads, windmills, water channels, forest ridges, buildings, and the piping-system – it will evolve evolutionary. Freeland develops as a rich assemblage of originality where everything is possible, and where advanced urban planning is brought back to bare essentialism
Freedom goes hand in hand with responsibilities. Of course Freeland does not exist outside law, and it is based on common sense: you can do whatever you want, but do not harm others. By not only developing your own plot, but also all the necessary components around it, including infrastructure, energy supply, waste disposal, water storage, and public parks, you do not only build your own home, but you also contribute to the development of your neighbourhood and your part of town.
The strategy for Oosterwold is developed in cooperation with the city of Almere and the Governmental Real Estate Development Agency and forms part of the Almere 2030 guiding vision. The development strategy will guide the transformation of an area of 43km2.