- Building sand castles in Dutch suburbia: from new-frontier pioneering to diversifying aspirations
- Built Environment
- Volume | Issue number
- 41 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper addresses the suburbanization process diachronically, comparing the aspirations of old and new movers to the suburban new town of Almere in the Netherlands. First, a survey of 295 inhabitants was conducted, regarding their motives in moving to the town from its beginning in 1976. Subsequently, in-depth interviews were completed with twelve 'pioneers' who moved to Almere up to 1984 and twelve who have moved there since 2000. The paper analyses place-making processes in suburban spaces, the aspirations when moving and the lived experiences in suburban vis-à-vis urban environments. Ideas about pioneering, communitarianism and utopias have shifted towards pragmatic and individualistic aspirations based on employment opportunities and better housing space-to-price rates, reflecting the shift from the Western prosperity of the 1960s-1970s to the current precariousness of neoliberal, inter-city competition.
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