- A Dutch Strategy for Urbanisation within valuable Landscapes    click here to open paper content1232 kb
by    Meijer, Michaël | michael.meijer@sab.nl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
New strategies for small scale urbanisations within valuable landscapes without creating urban sprawl. Substantial quantities of new dwellings and benefits for the countryside while offering solutions for a more efficient agriculture at the same time.
Since the second World War the Dutch have tried to build compact city’s. Partly to have as much agricultural land as possible. Strong restrictions were placed on housing development in the countryside. Today about 70% of the Dutch land still has an agricultural, forestry or nature function. During the 1990’s the Dutch government noticed a - still - growing demand for housing in rural area’s. At the same time the poor spatial quality’s of these rural area’s due to the land readjustments and the expansion of major city’s became evident.

The Dutch government, partly inspired by the political and societal movements of Neoliberalism and New Public Management - which still influence today’s planning policy’s - realized it had a good position to upgrade the spatial quality’s of the countryside without paying for it. In 1993 a policy was developed which allowed landowners in rural area’s to build a big house if they too developed 5 hectares of nature. This policy, and its derivates, has not proven to be an answer for the - present - problems on the countryside with respect to the demand for affordable housing, ecology, liveability, landscape quality and recreation. Now the Dutch are at the brink of an breakthrough for small scale urbanisations with substantial benefits for the countryside while offering solutions for a more efficient agriculture at the same time. Such as we know the demand for agricultural products is increasing all over the world.

Several Dutch (local) governments are investigating the possibilities to build substantial quantities of dwellings where barns, which will lose their agricultural function, are located. Valuable old buildings will be reused. The new dwellings match with local building methods and offer a place for popular new living styles to a brought public without creating the experience of urban sprawl. The dwellings can contain several houses or small businesses which can support local communities. Through a smart strategy essential strips of land, which (will) contain recreational and ecological networks, are acquired and maintained by the new owners of the dwellings.

In the past 6 months research has been conducted on three of these above mentioned ‘poll position’ government projects and the new policies they try to implement. This abstract is the prelude to the results of this survey.
Scientific research, institutions and rural development
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