After more than a hundred years of over-controlled master planning approaches dominance, urban specialists agreed that it failed. Even the most generous team can not predict all complexities and externalities of city developments. There are more and more theoretical and practical works, which insist that our cities should develop organically. Even though, the experience of the previous century should also be taking into account. That is why contemporary projects are trying to combine both top-down and bottom-up development. This work focus on the development of urban expansion areas, which are traditionally totally influenced by the architect’s visions (the informal urban expansion is not taken into consideration in this thought). In the light of Organic Urbanism movements, these areas tend to give more opportunities and responsibilities to the future residents. With this in mind, the current study looks at residential Community Building as an essential parallel process with the actual spatial area development. Moreover, for many western countries these responsibilities deviations are new not only from the environment policy point of view but also for the society. Altogether, it determines the nature and focus of current study. The aim of the research is to explore the links between Organic Urban Expansion and Community Building as well as what is the influence of the Innovation Diffusion on it? The Almere Oosterwold is a case study for this research. The study makes use of qualitative data. The main sources if information for this were interviews with future residents, municipality workers, architects; analysis of Facebook and Twitter posts, comments; secondary data as several interviews with project creators, information about Almere development history as well as project details. First, the analysis of this information leads to the identification aspects that influence on particular personal and community characteristics. Second, it showed the relationships of these characteristics with spatial characteristics of the different initiatives1. Finally, this analysis determinates several community and spatial projects typologies as well as result of their combinations. At present, the actual development of Oosterwold consists of initiatives of different sizes (from a single detached house up to large developments with 60+ dwellings). Most of the initiators, who are building now or about to start it, are the pioneers of Oosterwold. Each of them had spent around two or even more ears on getting all necessary permits. This study detected what are the drivers and barriers which influence on the social composition among pioneers. It also shows that they form different types of communities depending on their attitudes and reasons of collaboration. It is important to realise that relationship inside those communities, their openness to the neighbours, decision-making power distribution and other aspects influence on the physical characteristics of their projects. For example, some of them have common space other do not; there are monotony projects and diverse. Under those circumstances, it is important to understand to what kind of pioneers the strategy of Organic Urban Expansion correspond to achieve certain goals the urban professionals have.

, , , , , ,
Tsatsou, A. (Alexandra)
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Tkachenko, O. (Oleksandra). (2016, September). Freeland of Oosterwold. Retrieved from