Randstad

   Name introduced by KLM pioneer Albert Plesman for the urbanized districts in the west and the center of the Netherlands, where almost half of the Dutch population lives. Another name for this economically very important agglomeration—with the Rotter dam and Amsterdam harbors and Schiphol Airport—is “Deltame tropolis.” The Randstad consists of areas from four provinces (Northern and Southern Holland, Utrecht, and Flevoland) and in cludes the four biggest cities of the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotter dam, The Hague, and Utrecht) and many smaller cities as well, such as Amersfoort, Almere, Hilversum, Zaanstad, Haarlem, Leiden, Zoetermeer, Vlaardingen, Dordrecht, Gouda, and Nieuwegein. In between these cities, some rural areas are nurtured—the so-called Green Heart (Groene Hart). Its size, however, is decreasing because of lack of habitable land in the country; the rich in particular have built homes in the Green Heart. The Randstad is faced with typical urban problems, such as air pollution, traffic jams, and criminal ac tivities, and it attracts many foreigners. Administrative fragmentation makes things worse, according to some authorities. Randstad is also the name of a big agency for temporary employment.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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