Dutch Heritage: Current State of Research on the History of Architecture, Urban Development and the Man-made Landscape
In its recent publication Erfgoedbalans, the new National Service for Archaeology, Cultural Landscape and Built Heritage (RACM) provides a national overview of its three areas of responsibility: built heritage, manmade landscape and archaeological heritage.1 A general introductory chapter on heritage and heritage conservation is followed by chapters on the heritage stock in the Netherlands and the state of its conservation. The fourth chapter is about the present state of knowledge and gaps in it, while the fifth discusses education and public relations. This is followed by a chapter on spatial trends and another about policy. The final chapter discusses a number of specific topical themes, such as the consequences of the Malta Convention, the Belvedere Plan, the reuse and preservation of historical buildings and structures, and funding issues. The volume closes with an atlas section with a number of thematic maps for each province.
This article will not summarize the entire content of the Erfgoedbalans. Given the theme of the journal OverHolland, we shall focus on the state of research on the history of architecture, urban planning and the manmade landscape, especially in the provinces of North and South Holland, within the wider context of the Netherlands. A brief review of the background that led to the Erfgoedbalans will be followed by a section on the heritage stock − that is, the buildings, sites and landscapes that are considered to be of value, whether or not these enjoy protected status, before considering the state of research on this heritage.