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Seminar invitation
New Towns Heritage:
Exploring Boundaries
March 22 & 23, 2018 | 13:30 – 17:00 | 09:30 - 16:00
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Almere Haven

The International New Town Institute (INTI) and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have the pleasure of inviting you to our upcoming seminar “New Towns Heritage: Exploring Boundaries”. The seminar is funded by the AHRC as part of a series of events on New Towns heritage, coordinated by the New Towns Heritage Network lead by Oxford Brookes University. This series has been organised with the purpose of sharing research and policy on the architectural heritage value of the post-war New Towns in the UK and Mainland Europe. 

The New Towns in the Netherlands, officially called growth centers (groeikernen), can be considered the backbone of the urbanization policy of the 1960s in the Netherlands. These towns belong to a generation in which the welfare state stood at the basis of its design. Growth centers were established as a response to the urgent need for new living environments outside of the existing cities, as the economic center of the Netherlands, the Randstad, was in need of housing for 0.5 to 1 million residents. The new growth centers formed systematic and government-directed masterplans for new cities, that would expand the existing tiny historic villages into medium-scaled cities up to 75.000 – 100.000 inhabitants.

New Town architecture and urban planning has not always been very popular, and the heritage value of these types of places has for a long time been not been recognized in the Netherlands. However, in an increasing number of cases, historians, architects and developers have sought to establish links between the tangible and intangible characteristics of New Towns and redevelopment plans. With several case studies from past decades and with contemporary new town heritage discussions we can form an interesting new discourse on the ways to value new towns and new town architecture as important and valuable remnants from the past. 

During the “New Town Heritage: Exploring Boundaries ” seminar in Rotterdam we will discuss how we can look at New Towns from a heritage perspective, and how this perspective can be used as guidance in contemporary and future redevelopments. 


(more speakers tba)
 Michelle Provoost (International New Town Institute)
 Wijnand Galema (Architectural historian specialised in post-war architecture and urban development)
 Jouke van der Werf (Architectural historian and member of the aesthetics committee of new town Almere)
 Anita Blom (specialist in post-war urban planning heritage at the landscape department of the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency)
 Hilde Blank (urban planner & director of real estate developer AM Concepts)
 Hans Venhuizen (artist and researcher on the role of cultural heritage in urban developments in Almere)
 Bob Colenutt (Honorary Researcher at the School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University)
 Sabine Coady Schaebitz, (Associate Head of the School of Art and Design and Principal Lecturer in Architecture at Coventry University)
 Mike Taylor (town planner and conservation specialist in the UK)
 JaapJan Berg (INTI) will be the moderator of the seminar.


Main partners within the New Town Heritage program are the Arts & Humanities Research Center, Oxford Brookes University, Coventry University, Milton Keynes Council, Milton Keynes Discovery Centre, Petersburough Council, Harlow Council

Practical information

 Pre-seminar excursion to Hoogvliet & Pendrecht
Date: 22 March 2018
Time: 13.30 – 17.00
Location: Joint departure from Rotterdam Central Station, trip to Hoogvliet and Pendrecht, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Language: English
Entrance: free

 Seminar: New Town Heritage: Exploring Boundaries
Date: 23 March 2018

Time: 9.30 – 16.00 

 Delftsestraat 33, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Language: English

Entrance (including lunch and drinks): free

> Programme booklet (pdf 2,7mb)