Cor Wagenaar
nai010 Publishers, Rotterdam, 2011, English
Nonfiction, Urban Design
9.5 x 6.7 inches, hardcover, 640 pages, 500 illustrations
ISBN: 9789064506826
Suggested Retail Price: $64.50

From the Publisher. This overview of town planning in the Netherlands begins in the late 18th century, recording the way the Dutch rebuilt the cities they inherited from the 17th century. While focusing on the Netherlands, this study is embedded in its international setting. It is composed of seven “geopolitical” clusters that combine—and sometimes interrelate—European and global economic structures, and contain the intellectual epicenters that inspired Dutch urbanism. Underlying the evolution of Dutch urbanism are the ideas fostered by the Enlightenment, ideas that ushered in the end of the Republic of the Seven Provinces and resurfaced time and again; modernism, for instance, is presented as determined by them. The combination of Enlightenment ideas and and geopolitical realities sheds new light on the multitude of events related here—the emergence of a national railway network that replaced the historical water-based infrastructure; the reconstruction of the landscape, first in order to boost agriculture and then to accommodate suburban sprawl; the creation of planning techniques respected throughout the world; and finally, their replacement by the sometimes nebulous forms of public-private partnerships.

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