Winner describes the Dutch soccer of the 1990s to have space as their “unique defining element” (44). He claims that the Dutch soccer team sought to find space and take space whenever available. The Dutch soccer team had a system where they attacked the halfway line instead of the protecting their goal which resulted in less running and resulted in, typically, two goals in the first five minutes. Winner also claims just like the Dutch soccer team is concerned about space, so has Holland since WWII. He claims that the Dutch have put their faith in a series of National plans known as the National Spatial Planing Acts (in English). These are blueprints concerning the use of space that are to be followed by “every local and municipal authority in the Netherlands” (49). Winner ends the article and his point by drawing back to Dutch’s soccer team in its height in 1995 and the photographer, Van der Meer, who captured their great use of space. He also concludes that the Dutch landscape as Van der Meer saw it was too precise and mathematical about space. Winner highlights how der Meer believed that the Dutch landscape from the air is so straight and precisely laid out as if it is a posting of Mondrian.
Beyer uses the route that he takes to his office from his home as he sees it as platform of how he explains the Netherlands to be laid out. He also focuses on the history of Holland first and uses that to explain how the Netherlands was created and became successful. He explains how they first had to fight “back the sea and the rivers to make land” (12), because this area once was a swamp. He claims after the construction of the city was completed the focuses was shifted to political matters and trading their agriculture. This focus of trade and agriculture resulted in great wealth for the Netherlands. Unfortunately, their struggles were not over because they are located at the end of a river and must “accept the current and winds that flowed over the land from elsewhere” (16). This resulted in great loss of power and wealth that they had gained. He explains that the Dutch managed to fight their way back because the public cared and the government took initiative in the 1990s. Rem Koolhas founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and was integral part in the cites great architectural landscape of today exclaims Beyer.
Meyer, similarly to Beyer focuses on the history of the Netherlands and their struggles with their landscape because of the surrounding water. Meyer explains how the hydraulic technology and the engineering if the dikes, drainage, and pumping system give the “polder character of its own” (63). He illuminates how the water management system of today has positively impacted the agricultural demands of Holland. He finishes chapter three by suggesting that the structure of the landscape should again follow the “fine Dutch tradition” of “usefulness, durability and beauty” (63). In the fourth chapter, Beyer explains that the Dutch deal was impacted by its natural landscapes and the development of the nation-state. He explains how the landscape project of modern day began at a top-down approach and shifted away from that policy as hydraulic interventions and local urban development became a focus. He concludes that hydraulic engineering, urban planing and development, and local, regional, and international authorities are the key players in the Dutch delta’s landscape of today as they were twenty years ago. Moreover, they are the key to success in any delta of the world today.
Winner, Beyer and Meyer all see that space was a valued and focused area of the Dutch landscape, and the way it was constructed from the start. Beyer and Meyer take a more academic approach than Winner. They explain the history of the Netherlands and its struggles and successes of a landscape through that. Meyer is the most traditional of the three and does not really stray at all from the sole focus of Holland’s landscape and history. Beyer strays a little and explains some of Dutch’s landscape through his eyes and through his route to work from his home. Winner strays the most from traditional and typical academic writing. He uses a fun and interesting turn on explaining how Holland used space in strict and great way architecturally just like their soccer team did in the 1990s at their height. These different approaches work well together despite their difference in approach, because they all see the significance in how the Netherlands utilized space and worked around the land’s difficulties of the surrounding water.