Sunday, March 20, 2011

Topography - Krimpen aan den IJssel

My inspiration comes from the Ventures and adventures in Topography as practiced by John Rogers and Nick Papadimitriou. Not a definition, but a start of a manifesto:
  • Essentially topography is really nothing more than the detailed study of place, an area or region or town, etcetera ...
  • The walker at the edges of the city, the liminal figure who is not so conceptual in his practice ...
For a long time I was jealous of the London walkers, until I discovered that I had my own area where I could practice deep topography, my own liminal places at the edges of the city. My wife bought a simple walking guide from the Dutch Cyclists Union (ANWB) that covers the Green Heart, the area between the biggest cities of the Netherlands. A huge liminal and threatened area. It is the same size as the London outskirts.

This is our first walk from the book: Nr. 33 - Krimpenroute - 7 km.

Krimpen aan den IJssel - Vijverflat - Large 1970's housing estates at the edge of the village. 
Wild wet path - housing estate on the left - expensive new houses on the right.
Most expensive housing at the edge between village en nature. I'm researching theories of land use, but have only started. Boundaries like this should be meaningful.
Flat and wet. In the middle-ages water was  actively drained from these areas making the peat-lands arable. This led to subsidence of the lands, making the land unsuitable for wheat farming but still useful for dairy farming.
Signs of less stringent land use regulations. Informal constructions. Slight decay.
Water control infrastructure. This area has been re-converted from farmland to artificial nature reserve. Re-creating nature is much more expensive than simply protecting existing nature.
One of the original farms.
Edge of the village again.

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