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Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 11:58 GMT
In pictures: In a green city

View of Almere from the town hall

Almere is only 30 years old, built by the Dutch from nothing on perfectly flat, reclaimed land to the east of Amsterdam.

Waterside street near centre of Almere

It was built to tackle a housing shortage in the capital and offers a leafy alternative to Amsterdam.

Cyclists in Almere

The town is criss-crossed by dedicated bus and cycle routes, keeping car traffic to a minimum.

A sloping street in Almere town centre

Among Almere's many surprises is the artificial hill at its centre, which conceals a warren of car parks and roads.

A fixed public bin in Almere town centre

Another thing concealed is a piped waste disposal network which literally sucks rubbish out of public bins...

The "Vacuum-Cleaner"

...and delivers it to a single, box-like depot for bin lorries which is nicknamed The Vacuum-Cleaner.

Almere's new theatre under construction

New buildings like this theatre are going up all the time and Almere hopes eventually to become the country's fourth city.

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