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Alkmaar aims to establish a cluster of creative/cultural entrepreneurs in the city by developing creative hotspots. Overstad has been transformed into a new and dynamic component of the heart of the city of Alkmaar. This opens up numerous opportunities in this breeding ground for creativity. A creative economy requires a proper coordination of three factors: Education, Enterprise and Government. So the city authorities play a pro-active role by bringing people together, providing the physical space and, where possible, including the space in zoning plans.
Knowledge City Alkmaar
Knowledge is becoming increasingly important. To make an active contribution in this area, the city of Alkmaar, Hogeschool INHolland Alkmaar, Alkmaar Medical Centre and the housing corporation Woonwaard have decided to pool their energies in ‘Knowledge City Alkmaar’. However, knowledge and technology alone are not enough: human creativity is the engine of economic growth.
Of course, you can't just force people to be creative. You can provide the right conditions for urban creativity and enterprise. Concentrating people and economic activities close to one another generates economies of scale. And the closer proximity that results makes chance meetings and exchanges of knowledge more likely, opening the way for innovations and new ideas.
Diversity in the spatial and built environment, in socio-economic functions and in people is another factor that makes industry possible at every time of day, encouraging chance meetings. There is a focus on intermingling functions. But an old building is also being re-developed to provide shared accommodation for different businesses or to act as an innovation factory for creative or technological starters. By establishing an appealing residential environment, enhancing the city's image as a magnet for all sorts of activities, we attract creative people to the city and boost urban creativity.
A creative hotspot: Overstad
Overstad is in the centre of Alkmaar. This part of the city was originally an industrial area. It has now been transformed into an area bordered by large-scale retail outlets. The former industrial area has been remodelled into a dynamic area where creative economy, culture, residential functions, shops and education rub shoulders. In addition to Overstad, other creative hotspots are being established in Alkmaar, where established companies, SMEs, new companies and starters can get together to generate economic synergy.
Alkmaar is a stone's throw away from the Randstad, and it has considerable appeal for people and companies. The historical inner city, facilities in the areas of care, education, sports, culture, events and shops make it an extremely lively place to be. The presence of major leading companies such as VSM, De Boer Tenten, Kluitman and AGU, together with a wide range of SMEs, shape the character of the city. In this way, Alkmaar fulfils an important function in the region, making the city appealing for visitors from the Netherlands and abroad.