Eindhoven | Netherlands

Eindhoven (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛi̯ntɦoːvə(n)] (About this sound listen)) is a municipality and a city in the south of the Netherlands, originally at the confluence of the Dommel and Gender streams. The Gender was dammed short of the city centre in the 1950s and the Dommel still runs through the city. The city has a population of 223,220 in January 2015, making it the fifth-largest municipality of the Netherlands and the largest in the province of North Brabant.

Neighbouring cities and towns include Son en Breugel, Nuenen, Geldrop-Mierlo, Heeze-Leende, Waalre, Veldhoven, Eersel, Oirschot and Best. The agglomeration has a population of 337,487. The metropolitan area consists of 419,045 inhabitants. The city region has a population of 753,426. Also, Eindhoven is located in the Brabantse Stedenrij, a combined metropolitan area with about 2 million inhabitants.

The reconstruction of Eindhoven was finished in 1502, with a stronger rampart and a new castle. However, in 1543 it fell again, its defense works having been neglected due to poverty.

A big fire in 1554 destroyed 75% of the houses but by 1560 these had been rebuilt with the help of William I of Orange. During the Dutch Revolt, Eindhoven changed hands between the Dutch and the Spanish several times during which it was burned down by renegade Spanish soldiers, until finally in 1583 it was captured once more by Spanish troops and its city walls were demolished.

Eindhoven did not become part of the Netherlands until 1629. During the French occupation, Eindhoven suffered again with many of its houses destroyed by the invading forces. Eindhoven remained a minor city after that until the start of the industrial revolution.

Eindhoven has grown from a little town in 1232 to one of the biggest cities in the Netherlands with around 212,000 inhabitants in 2009. Much of its growth is due to Philips, DAF Trucks and Brabantia.

After the resurrection of the Netherlands in 1815 and the end of the Belgian Revolution, Eindhoven was a small village of some 1250 people in an economically backward and mostly agricultural area. Cheap land, cheap labor and the existence of pre-industrial homesourcing (huisnijverheid in Dutch) made Eindhoven an attractive area for the developing industries which were being stimulated by the government of King William I. During the 19th century, Eindhoven grew into an industrial town with factories for textile weaving, cigar manufacturing, match making and hat making. Most of these industries disappeared again after World War II, though.

In 1891, brothers Gerard and Anton Philips founded the small light bulb factory that would grow into one of the largest electronics firms in the world. Philips' presence is probably the largest single contributing factor to the major growth of Eindhoven in the 20th century. It attracted and spun off many hi-tech companies, making Eindhoven a major technology and industrial hub. In 2005, a full third of the total amount of money spent on research in the Netherlands was spent in or around Eindhoven. A quarter of the jobs in the region are in technology and ICT, with companies such as FEI Company (once Philips Electron Optics), NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips Semiconductors), ASML, ALTEN, Simac, Neways Electronics and the aforementioned Philips and DAF.

Eindhoven has long been a centre of cooperation between research institutes and industry. This tradition started with Philips (the NatLab was a physical expression of this) and has since expanded to large cooperative networks. The Eindhoven University of Technology hosts an incubator for technology startups and the NatLab has developed into the High Tech Campus Eindhoven. Also, TNO has opened a branch on the university campus. This tradition has also fostered inter-industry cooperation in the region; one example of this is the announcement in September 2010 of a new research lab for high-grade packaging materials, a cooperation of IPS Packaging and Thales Cryognetics.

The executive council in Dutch municipalities is called the College of the Mayor and Aldermen (Dutch: College van Burgemeester en Wethouders or College van B&W for short). The mayor is appointed by the monarch, but the council of aldermen is composed as a result of the formation of a local coalition government. This coalition is formed in such a way as to be able to rely on a majority of the votes in the city council.

In May 2014, a coalition was formed between PvdA, D66, SP and GroenLinks. Together they have 26 seats in the city council. The council of aldermen consists of the following people:

Mary-Ann Schreurs (D66): innovation and design, sustainability and culture
Lenie Scholten (GreenLeft): healthcare and WIJeindhoven
Staf Depla (PvdA): economy, work and income and vocational education
Bianca van Kaathoven (SP): Active city, diversity and permits
Marco van Dorst (D66): Spatial planning and treasury
Yasin Torunoglu (PvdA): Living, boroughs, space and citizen participation
Jannie Visscher (SP): Youth, education, traffic and transport


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