The role of Vereniging Buitenstad in the green areas of Almere

Vereniging Buitenstad is an organization that focuses on connecting citizens and organizations in the green areas of Almere to promote the green character of Almere. The board of the association indicates that a change in the organisation is necessary because Vereniging Buitenstad is not able to grow and achieve its purpose in the way it is currently set up.

Photo: hipproductions /

Typical strengths of the functioning of Vereniging Buitenstad are its organising and binding ability, commitment to the development of Almere and the historical consciousness which is held by the various individual board members. These strengths are highly valued by different stakeholders in Almere and therefore it would be valuable for the future of Vereniging Buitenstad to put extra emphasis on these strengths. At the same time, it is important to deal with a number of weaknesses of the organisation. The main weaknesses of Vereniging Buitenstad are a noncommittal attitude of institutional members, ineffective external communication and an indistinct profile.

The municipality of Almere welcomes the enthusiastic group of people that make up the Vereniging Buitenstad, but is cautious when it comes to exploring the possibility of a Green Council seriously.

Within the developments in Almere there are a number of opportunities for Vereniging Buitenstad. These opportunities are mainly the growth of Almere, an increasing number of volunteers, and the decentralisation of nature policies.

However, there are also threats. Decentralisation to a more local level can be a threat because Vereniging Buitenstad operates throughout the whole city. Because of budget cuts, the municipality has less manpower and resources to support civic initiatives, such as Vereniging Buitenstad. In addition, the individualisation of society is a threat, as is the trend that people less and less frequently choose to join a social organisation. This may mean that it will be hard for the Vereniging Buitenstad to create greater support.

In the epilogue, the Vereniging Buitenstad states it is facing important decisions and that a reconsideration of the mission is needed.