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Holland Layer by Layer

Bart Reuser, Marijn Schenk
Bouwfonds Nederland

First Prize Archiprix 2000

Accessibility is a basic condition of urban development. Accessibility as an article of faith has resulted in one-way thinking: the more connections, the merrier. More and more the Netherlands, dominated by fast means of transport, is turning into a thoroughfare. It is dragged along in the wake of acceleration and slowly, the question is arising of whether there is any place left to stand still. We raise spectres: will the Netherlands soon be exactly the same everywhere? The same shops, the same houses, the same people? 

As a result of the increased accessibility of the big cities in the Randstad, the relative distances between the centres themselves have dwindled over the years. Now that ever more connections completely invalidate the concept of distance, perhaps the question is if we should discard the geographical notion ‘randstad’ and reintroduce ‘time’ as a spatial element in the cartographic exercise. 

The 2030 Tempographic Map of all movements paints a tempting picture of ´Holland – Layer by Layer’. It illustrates the possibility to use both acceleration and deceleration to make progress. If we vary accessibility, we can equip a country of extremes: a land of metro-poles that contrast sharply with rural areas.