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The Belvedere strategy

The objective of the Belvedere strategy is to promote a respectful approach in regard to cultural and historic values within spatial development. This is to be accomplished neither by vetoing changes nor by burying the past, but by seeking effective ways to create win-win situations: to use space in such a way that an object of cultural and/or historic importance is given a place and will contribute to the quality of its newly created surroundings. According to the Belvedere approach, “cultural heritage has to be regarded as being of vital importance to our society and to each individual citizen.

The preservation and use of our cultural heritage adds an extra cultural dimension to the spatial structure. The heritage approach to be adopted in dynamic situations is one that centres on inspiring development rather than conservation or replacement. This approach should be promoted and implemented by means of the overall spatial policy.” The Belvedere strategy aims at achieving this goal by involving cultural historians early in planning processes and by providing architects, urban and rural planners, and administrators with effective, usable (and understandable!) information. This strategy requires acknowledging the legitimate importance of others in the planning process as well as the need for a give and take attitude. It also requires an awareness of the fact that the cultural historian has something to offer: making use of our cultural heritage, both physically and as a source of inspiration, offers planners and designers an opportunity to develop a plan with added value - a design with its own unique identity and often with unexpected economic applications.
document (download the complete file) (707 kb)

The Belvedere Memorandum (summary)
Here you can download a summary of the Belvedere Memorandum in English.
document (download The Belvedere Memorandum (summary)) (20 kb)

The Belvedere Memorandum (complete)
Here you can download the complete Belvedere Memorandum in English.
document (download The Belvedere Memorandum (complete)) (210 kb)

National Belvedere project: The New Dutch Waterline
The Netherlands is famous for its age-long struggle with water. Sometimes water was an ally, however. For example, land was intentionally flooded during times of war to obstruct the enemy. The most famous of the water defence lines (‘waterlinie’) is the New Dutch Waterline (‘Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie’). With an ingenious system of sluices, dikes and canals, a line of defence up to 85 kilometres long could be created. Many places and buildings which belonged to the New Dutch Waterline still stand today. Some are large and noticeable, such as the forts, while other elements lie hidden underground. Today, more and more defence works are receiving a new purpose, such as museums and inns. And with increasing attention for the environment, the New Dutch Waterline offers plenty of room for nature, water, and recreation!
document (download the complete file) (2827 kb)

Teaching and Research Programme and Agenda for the Belvedere Educational Network (2006-2009)
In September 2005 the Belvedere Project Office and three Dutch universities (Vrije universiteit Amsterdam, Delft university of Technology and Wageningen university and Research Centre) set up a core team for the Belvedere Educational Network for a period of four years, until September 2009. The participating institutes are convinced that the education of young people and the further training of professionals present an ideal opportunity to anchor the ‘Belvedere approach’1 ‘conservation through development’ - within our thinking on spatial planning and design in the Netherlands, and within professional practice in the design and historical disciplines. The network focuses on higher education, in other words the bachelors and masters programmes run by the universities, universities of professional education and academies of architecture.
document (download the complete file Common Ground) (868 kb)

Home . English

The Belvedere strategy

The objective of the Belvedere strategy is to promote a respectful approach in regard to cultural and historic values within spatial development. This is to be accomplished neither by vetoing changes nor by burying the past, but by seeking effective ways to create win-win situations: to use space in such a way that an object of cultural and/or historic importance is given a place and will contribute to the quality of its newly created surroundings. According to the Belvedere approach, “cultural heritage has to be regarded as being of vital importance to our society and to each individual citizen.

The preservation and use of our cultural heritage adds an extra cultural dimension to the spatial structure. The heritage approach to be adopted in dynamic situations is one that centres on inspiring development rather than conservation or replacement. This approach should be promoted and implemented by means of the overall spatial policy.” The Belvedere strategy aims at achieving this goal by involving cultural historians early in planning processes and by providing architects, urban and rural planners, and administrators with effective, usable (and understandable!) information. This strategy requires acknowledging the legitimate importance of others in the planning process as well as the need for a give and take attitude. It also requires an awareness of the fact that the cultural historian has something to offer: making use of our cultural heritage, both physically and as a source of inspiration, offers planners and designers an opportunity to develop a plan with added value - a design with its own unique identity and often with unexpected economic applications.
document (download the complete file) (707 kb)

The Belvedere Memorandum (summary)
Here you can download a summary of the Belvedere Memorandum in English.
document (download The Belvedere Memorandum (summary)) (20 kb)

The Belvedere Memorandum (complete)
Here you can download the complete Belvedere Memorandum in English.
document (download The Belvedere Memorandum (complete)) (210 kb)

National Belvedere project: The New Dutch Waterline
The Netherlands is famous for its age-long struggle with water. Sometimes water was an ally, however. For example, land was intentionally flooded during times of war to obstruct the enemy. The most famous of the water defence lines (‘waterlinie’) is the New Dutch Waterline (‘Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie’). With an ingenious system of sluices, dikes and canals, a line of defence up to 85 kilometres long could be created. Many places and buildings which belonged to the New Dutch Waterline still stand today. Some are large and noticeable, such as the forts, while other elements lie hidden underground. Today, more and more defence works are receiving a new purpose, such as museums and inns. And with increasing attention for the environment, the New Dutch Waterline offers plenty of room for nature, water, and recreation!
document (download the complete file) (2827 kb)

Teaching and Research Programme and Agenda for the Belvedere Educational Network (2006-2009)
In September 2005 the Belvedere Project Office and three Dutch universities (Vrije universiteit Amsterdam, Delft university of Technology and Wageningen university and Research Centre) set up a core team for the Belvedere Educational Network for a period of four years, until September 2009. The participating institutes are convinced that the education of young people and the further training of professionals present an ideal opportunity to anchor the ‘Belvedere approach’1 ‘conservation through development’ - within our thinking on spatial planning and design in the Netherlands, and within professional practice in the design and historical disciplines. The network focuses on higher education, in other words the bachelors and masters programmes run by the universities, universities of professional education and academies of architecture.
document (download the complete file Common Ground) (868 kb)