The conservation of modernist urban ensembles: Case studies from Amsterdam

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    Urban conservation, notably in Western Europe, grew from a reaction to the large Modernist monofunctional sub-urban expansion projects and programmes aimed at rationalising messy multifunctional historic cities. Conservationists responded reactively by celebrating the diversity and multi-layered character of the historic city. In the Netherlands a pragmatic urban conservation approach was developed which found its most clear expression in the Town- and City renewal programmes of the last quarter of the Twentieth Century. Concurrent to this a new dynamic was emerging: an awakening appreciation of Modernist ensembles, built according to the principles of the Modern Movement and the CIAM. The same pragmatic approach has helped to ensure the conservation of these expansive areas, albeit through somewhat radical means. This paper explores in brief the history of the urban conservation movement in the Netherlands, following which novel approaches to the conservation of Modernist utopian townscapes will be presented through recent and current projects from Amsterdam.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHistory Urbanism Resilience
    Subtitle of host publicationHistorical Perspectives
    EditorsCarola Hein
    PublisherTU Delft Open
    ISBN (Electronic)978-94-92516-06-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event17th IPHS Conference History-Urbanism-Resilience - Delft, Netherlands
    Duration: 17 Jul 201621 Jul 2016

    Publication series

    NameInternational Planning History Society Proceedings
    ISSN (Print)2468-6948
    ISSN (Electronic)2468-6956


    Conference17th IPHS Conference History-Urbanism-Resilience
    Internet address


    • Urban conservation
    • The Netherlands
    • Modernist social housing ensembles
    • energy sustainability
    • Amsterdam
    • Landlust
    • Bosleeuw
    • Jeruzalem-Frankendaal
    • Slotermeer


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