Joppe Schaaper Reflection (ZL)

From Joppe Schaaper’s video, I am able to visualize the development of Dutch city during their golden age when commerce and wealth was at its peak. Schaaper reinforced the idea of delta urbanization through showing how more channels were built and how the city expanded. It is interesting to learn that in the beginning of the 1600s when the Dutch city started its expansion, it had already endorsed the use of geometric planning. As seen in the picture, the city is very organized and extended outward from the center. This geometric design makes trading very simple because people can easily navigate through the city. As a result, commerce is promoted.

Moreover, a relatively large portion of the land had been reclaimed during this period as the city built on the water while utilizing surrounding land from the mainland. At the end of the urbanization, it is clear that the area had gone through a huge change—manmade land had conquered the nature. I have found similar ideas expressed in the Delta urbanism reading, in which the Dutch alter and integrate water features into their designs. This makes me wonder about the use of various channels as commercial routes in the city and other functions of them. I am also curious about the process of reclamation of the land from the water. As Schaaper mentioned in the video, parts of the Netherland, especially the land near the sea, is below sea-level. Then what kinds of dikes and dams have to be built in order to prevent flooding? Are there any methods or systems implemented to manage the water level of the channels within the city?


One thought on “Joppe Schaaper Reflection (ZL)

  1. After watching all of Joppe’s videos, I noticed that the expansion of Amsterdam was a recurring theme. The expansion never stopped when the Dutch started to reclaim land from the water. Various planning and design were implemented during the process. Despite the continued expansion, architectures of the city were under constant change at each time periods. Different churches were built when the mainstream religion changed from Catholicism to Protestantism. Classical building style were abandoned when the housing act was enforced, and new mythology were endorsed by the architects and construction companies. Additionally, the new designs always seemed to be accompanied by changes in policies, ideologies and demographics. Concrete and block replaced the traditional building materials because the new policy required the company to build spacious neighborhoods with lights and greens. Thus, the companies utilized the cheaper materials to accomplish their goal and adjusted their designs to suit the needs of specific markets.

    Questions: How does design methods or ideologies changed over time and influenced different regions of the city? Are modern/new buildings designed in ways that harmonize with the traditional architectures?


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