Nieuwegein was founded on 1 July 1971 as a planned city, following the merger of the former municipalities of Jutphaas and Vreeswijk. The new town was built for the expanding population of the city of Utrecht, and grew rapidly during the decades following its foundation.
Nieuwegein is surrounded by three Motorways (Dutch: autosnelweg), the A2 to the west, the A12 to the north and the A27 to the east. Nieuwegein is connected to Utrecht and IJsselstein by the Sneltram (light rail) line. There is a pedestrian ferry across the river Lek to Vianen.