Reference : Dendermonde, a city on two rivers: reflections about the projects d’amenagement after...
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Dendermonde, a city on two rivers: reflections about the projects d’amenagement after the First World War
Rapalo, Maria Chiara mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > Form. doct. art bâtir & urba. (Archi - paysage)]
i Quaderni di Careggi - UNISCAPE
UNISCAPE EN-ROUTE International Seminar. Riappropriarsi dei paesaggi fluviali/Recovering river landscapes
from 28-9-2015 to 30-9-2015
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
[en] transformation ; identity ; Belgium
[en] The First World War as well as being cause to destruction, was also an occasion of renewal for many residential areas, which exploited the post-war reconstruction to change their urban layout.
It was the time when in Europe new approaches to architecture and urban planning were being discussed, based on the aesthetics. Meanwhile, in the Belgian context, the debate on the Art de Bâtir by C. Sitte began to consolidate, and, simultaneously, the first institutions of sites protection were born.
Termonde, a settlement dating from the eleventh century, occupies a geographically strategic place of the Belgian territory: located north of the country, not far from the Dutch border and perfectly in the center of the triangle Ghent-Antwerp-Brussels, the city has always been one of the economy hubs in the nation.
The Dendermonde industry has historically implanted in the urban area - crossed by the two rivers Escaut and Dendre - exploiting all the resources for industrial production. Despite the ravages of war and the many floods, thanks to government targeted actions, the city still managed to occupy a place of first importance in Flanders intensive industrialization, representing a crucial point of the 'water railway' which, starting from French Flanders and passing through Ghent and Antwerp, comes up to Germany.
The objective of the study is to examine the situation of Dendermonde in the thirties of the twentieth century, by analyzing, in particular - on the basis of historical iconography of the early decades of the twentieth century and some local projects d’amenagement presented soon after the First World War up to the Concours pour l’urbanization de Termonde (1935) - measures, suggestions and reflections on the theme of conservation and redevelopment of the river landscape, in compliance with the historical archaeological persistence, geo-natural and landscape features of the town.
In particular, we are going to examine the proposed interventions on the two streams of Dendermonde which aimed primarily at enhancing the ancient center. The projects related to the two rivers involved diversion, interception or slowdown operations. These transformations brought substantial changes to the urban features and to the natural historical landscape, thus altering the identity of places, and by deleting certain environmental values, or historical and aesthetic, without subtracting the character sometimes typically industrial, otherwise picturesque of the northern Europe ancient city.

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