After the Second World War the Zuiderzee Works continued, constructing the polder of Eastern Flevoland. In 1950 work commenced on several construction islands in the middle of the IJsselmeer. Lelystad-Haven was the largest island, and its wooden barracks housed a community of dyke-builders. In 1955 they reached the mainland, which made it possible to drive to Lelystad by car. One of the three pumping stations, which drained the polder in June 1957, was the diesel-powered Wortman in Lelystad-Haven. Until 1967 the only inhabitants of Lelystad were technical engineers and laborers and superintendents, living on the former construction island.
Dutch Topographic map of Lelystad (city), March 2014.
Lelystad is the largest municipality in the Netherlands in area, but a large part of that area is water: Markermeer and IJsselmeer. Another major area is the internationally famous nature park of Oostvaardersplassen, which arose naturally when the polder of South Flevoland was drained. Lelystad is also surrounded by a square of woodlands and parks and flat farmland. The importance of the landscape and sky is emphasized by several pieces of land art: engineers' work and works such as the Observatorium by Robert Morris (see below).
Lelystad has good infrastructure. Lelystad can be reached by air, water, and land.
Air: Lelystad Airport is a small satellite of the national airportSchiphol. Although no regular flights between Schiphol and Lelystad Airport exist. Lelystad Airport will expand. In 2018 all holiday flights will leave/arrive from/on Lelystad Airport.
Water: Lelystad has its own inland port, several marinas and canals that also help to manage the water levels in the polder. One of these lakes is called Zuigerplas, which means "Sucker-lake": it is so named because it is in a hollow that was made by a suction dredger taking sand from the wrong place; near it is a wood called Zuigerplasbos.
The honeycomb grid in the arms of Lelystad represents the dykes, built with six-edged concrete or basalt blocks. The colour gold indicates the high costs of the project of making the polder. The centre shield is the arms of engineerCornelis Lely. The sealions reflect the history of the land.
In the flag, the fleur-de-lis (lily) again takes a central point, referring to the name Lely. The yellow (golden) background reflects the precious land, and the blue lines the dykes and waterways. The flag of the province is similarly adorned with the fleur-de-lis to commemorate Lely.
The Zuiderzeelijn is a projected railway which could connect Lelystad with Emmeloord, Heerenveen and Groningen. In one variation the Zuiderzeelijn would be a magnetic levitation train line providing a faster connection between Amsterdam and Groningen. Another more realistic variation would be a conventional electrified train track allowing speeds up to 200 km/h.
Other plans for the near future include the development of the coastal area (Lelystad borders both the Markermeer and the IJsselmeer) for tourist and commercial purposes.