Collage of fragments
In 1989 Willem Jan Neutelings (1959) was commissioned by the municipality of The Hague to study the urbanisation process of the southern section of the so-called Randstad conurbation in the west of the Netherlands, in particular the area between The Hague and Rotterdam.
Neutelings' proposal for a 'tapijtmetropool' (‘patchwork metropolis’) rejected the traditional contrast between the city and the outlying rural areas to replace this binary opposition with the conception of the region as a collage of fragments: a network city made up of traffic infrastructure, residential areas, historic inner cities, open areas, old estates, greenhouses, industry, etc.
For the southern edge of The Hague around the A4 and the former Ypenburg airfield, Neutelings presented a varied landscape for different lifestyles. Also on a socio-cultural level, the city is no longer seen as belonging to one clearly homogeneous society, instead the starting point is an amalgam of different subcultures and lifestyles with a large biodiversity which, just like the physical morphology of the carpet metropolis, is subject to constant change.
Neutelings argued that at the end of the 20th century it was no longer a practice of continuous urban expansion where the 'red' eats away the 'green', but the transformation of fragments in the patchwork that made a modern urban landscape. It therefore became important to insert new functions in such a way that improved the whole.
Urban planner Joost Váhl (1939) made a name for himself as an activist and advocate of the mixing of traffic where the dominance of the car had to be curbed while pedestrians and cyclists were given more space. In Delft he laid the first speed bump in the Netherlands.
The Rotterdam office Van den Broek and Bakema made the first design for the Tanthof residential area south of Delft in 1969. The plan provided a core of high-rise slabs along and over a major trunk road towards Rotterdam, with the low-rise neighbourhoods around it.
Gonggrijp graduated in 1969 on a landscape study of the western Netherlands. His design research focused on the ongoing expansion of the port of Rotterdam. For this research he created a series of hand-drawn maps with overlaid transparent sheets.
Urban designer Frits Palmboom (1951) made his name in 1987 with the book Rotterdam, verstedelijkt landschap (Rotterdam, Urbanised Landscape), a completely new interpretation of the urban morphology of Rotterdam.
The New Netherlands
In 1987 the exhibition 'Nieuw Nederland' (The New Netherlands) took place on the initiative of the foundation Nederland Nu Als Ontwerp (The Netherlands Now As Design). With a view to the future urbanisation of the Netherlands, four scenarios were developed for the spatial development of the Netherlands up to the year 2050.