Culturally and recreationally, Eindhoven was formed by two forces:
- Being a university city, Eindhoven has a large student population. The students from the Eindhoven University of Technology and a number of undergraduate schools give Eindhoven a young population, whose recreational needs are catered to by several different festivals, clubs and such.
- For a long time Eindhoven was the main location of Philips. The Philips company undertook a lot of effort in the "cultural formation" of its workforce and has given the city both cultural institutions (such as the former POC and the Muziekcentrum Frits Philips) and sporting institutions (notably PSV).
The villages and city that make up modern Eindhoven were originally built on sandy elevations between the Dommel, Gender and Tongelreep streams. Beginning in the 19th century, the basins of the streams themselves have also been used as housing grounds, resulting in occasional floodings in the city centre. Partly to reduce flooding, the bed of the Gender stream, which flowed directly through the city centre, was dammed off and filled up after the War, and the course of the Dommel was regulated. New ecological and socio-historical insights have led to parts of the Dommel's course being restored to their original states, and plans to have the Gender flow through the centre once again.
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