Lelystad as Capital of New Nature: from city image perceptions to city marketing strategies in relation with the landscape
Schaaf, Marjolein van der
MetadataShow full item record
Recent developments show that a good image as a city is important. There is currently a shortage of housing in the Netherlands. Lelystad wants to help with this, but various news reports state that Lelystad is not an attractive city to live in (NOS NIeuws, 2022; Vink, 2021). There are also developments in the field of sustainability and greening that require attention of the municipality. The national government is focusing on climate adaptation to counteract the effects of climate change. The municipality of Lelystad is using this development to position Lelystad as a green city. The municipality wants to get rid of the negative image of Lelystad. This should be done through the policy programme Lelystad Next Level, where Lelystad is portrayed as the capital of new nature and with 'green urbanisation'. To be able to improve the image of a city by using greening, city marketing and the participation of residents, it is necessary to gain more knowledge about the relations between placemaking, city branding and city marketing and spatial interventions. Therefore, the research question of this study is ‘How does the municipality of Lelystad use spatial interventions to promote Lelystad as the capital of new nature? And how are the residents of Lelystad perceiving this?’. Lelystad, the capital of Flevoland, is used as a case study in this research. The focus of this research is on Lelystad because the municipality of Lelystad wants to create a new image 'Lelystad as the capital of new nature'. They want to do this by using spatial interventions that represent the new nature. During this research several methods have been applied to collect findings regarding the intended image of Lelystad. First, a document analysis was done with twenty-three policy documents that provided insight into the policy and planning context at different levels: global, European, national, regional and local. In addition, 16 persons were interviewed, including eleven residents of Lelystad and five officials at the municipality and the province. On one hand, the interviews served to gain insight in how the residents of Lelystad look at their city and to what extent they see the intended image represented in the landscape of Lelystad. On the other hand, the interviews with the government officials had the purpose to know more about the implementation of Lelystad as capital of the new nature including the spatial interventions that have been made. The results of the research did not entirely correspond with what had been found in the literature and what had been expected on the basis of the policy documents concerning Lelystad as the capital of the new nature. No direct relation was found between the three elements: placemaking, spatial interventions and city marketing and city branding. However, there is a relation between the image of the residents of Lelystad and the way the landscape is perceived. According to the residents, Lelystad is a green city. It is currently not clear how the municipality of Lelystad uses spatial interventions to promote Lelystad as the capital of new nature. The reason is that the policy has not been implemented. However, National Park Nieuw Land is used as an example of a landscape feature and spatial intervention. According to the interviewed government officials, the municipality of Lelystad is in the process of implementing climate-adaptive interventions in Lelystad's neighbourhoods. These climate adaptive interventions are also part of the policy to promote Lelystad as the capital of new nature. Therefore, the residents did perceive this policy in their own surroundings. In their view, Lelystad is not the capital of new nature at the moment.