From modernist landscapes to New Nature : Planning of rural utopias in the Netherlands

C.H. Doevendans, J.A. Lorzing, A.L. Schram

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After a general introduction considering the notion of 'landscape', this paper is concerned with changes in planning attitudes and ways of design in the Dutch 20th-century landscape. Such changes of attitude are exemplified by specific large-scale landscape projects as paradigmatic cases. The main tendencies in the first half of the 20th century were modernization, rationalization, and intensification of the landscape for agricultural production, as shown in the case of the Netherlands, where such policies were initiated at a national planning level. At the end of the century, however, an attempt is seen to find a balance between modernization and the values of 'nature'. Nature becomes an independent entity that can be designed and re-created, if necessary, as is the case in the Dutch landscape. This shift marks an important change in the approach to 'landscape': from a productive agricultural landscape to a re-naturalized landscape for recreational purposes. At present both of these opposed - more rationalist and more romanticist approaches - can be noticed in the practice of national and large-scale planning for the Dutch rural environment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-354
JournalLandscape Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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