Town Planning Review

Blijstra, R., "Town Planning in the Netherlands since 1900" (Book Review)

Town Planning Review (1965), 36, (2), 139


BOOK REVIEWS are dealt with it comes as SOllie surprise, after studying in recent years the argUTIlcnts of Beesley and Roth for congestion taxes which culminated in the Smeed Report, to find that American thought is also turning towards such a radical change in pricing policies for roads. One personal pleasure after suffering from the recent outbreak of plans incorporating the mono-rail as a panacea for all transport ills, was to read ' . . . there is no indication that '1110 no- rail' can do anything that conventional rail cannot do as well or better'. Architects especially, please note! GORDON I-fALL In this short history of town planning in the Netherlands Mr Blijstra covers the whole field of planning from 1900 and ill ustrates his book with plans and excellent photographs. Naturally, housing is one of the more important elements and the examples of garden-city housing in a suburb of Rotterdam built between 191 8 and I 920 show how much influence the English garden-city development had on continental housing layout. But as early as 1927 one can see new clements in house design and layout enlerging at the hands of J. 1. P. Oud; a doyen amonp European town planners. Rotterdam and the Lijnbaan are already household names anlongst British planners and very soon the Dutch Polder developments w ill become of very great importance when considering ,vays of dealing with the So lwav, Morecambe Bav and the Dee ) Estuary. The regional planning aspects of, for example, the North East Polder have been described several times but Iew articles pay a great deal of attention to the excellence of the riew villages that have been built there. The village character is whollv suitable since the scale of the / buildings is unpretentious and the layout of roads, and open spaces is vcr)! domestic. Canals, whit.h form part of the open space, add interest to the landscape, as does tree planting. Above all, the landscape, although so flat, is enhanced bv tremendous vistas and huge expanses of sky. These aspects of the Dutch landscape are we] l illustrated in the book. While this is a kind of guide book it would be invaluable for the planner who wishes to travel in the Netherlands. It would make a study tour all the more .' re\varding. ~ ~) ~ ~ TOWN PLANNIN(; IN THE NETHERLANDS SINCE 1900 By R. BLIJSTRA, P. N. van Kampen & Zoon, Amsterdam, 19 6 5, 74 pp. f11any planners and architects the Netherlands are now as much on the list of necessary study areas as are the Scandinavian countries. The number and variety . of iterns to see in such a small country surprises even the most travelled planner. The list is never-ending. Aside from the rno re well-known examples of good and interesting planning such as Rotterdam, and many housing schemes outside Amsterdam, there are the schemes of reclamation around the Zuider Zee, where who]« towns and rnanv villages have been built on land, which, only a few years back, was under the sea. T o ) L; Copyright (c) 2004 ProQuest Information and Learning Company Copyright (c) Liverpool University Press ~ JOSEPHINE P. REYNOLDS

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Author details

Reynolds, J. P.