Veenendaal is a municipality and a city in central Netherlands, it is part of the province of Utrecht. Veenendaal is the only population centre within its administrative borders. As of April 2011, the municipality has 62,376 inhabitants and an area of 19.81 square kilometres, most of which is built up. The original village was founded in the 16th century as a peat colony from which it got its name. 'Veen' is the Dutch word for peat and 'daal' for valley, so literally the name means 'peat[veen veen] valley[daal daal]'. Until just after World War II, Veenendaal remained a small community with only a few thousand residents. In the last fifty years the town grew rapidly to the city with 62,000+ inhabitants of today. Until the second half of the 20th century, Veenendaal was divided into two parts, a 'Gelders' and an 'Utrechts' part ('Gelders' comes from Gelderland and 'Utrechts' from Utrecht, both Dutch provinces). This is because in the first few centuries of the town's existence it was too small to be its own municipality. The southern half eventually became independent from Rhenen and Renswoude in 1795. The northern half separated from Ede in 1960. In 1997 it was elected the greenest city of Europe and in 2004 of the Netherlands. In 2000 the city was elected best bicycle city of the Netherlands.