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Heritage Community Doel & Polder


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The Heritage Community Doel & Polder is an association that stands up for the threatened heritage of Doel and its polders.

Doel is a 700-year old village in the Flemish polder aside the river Scheldt, north of the port of Antwerp. The expanding port threatens the village from the 1970s on. Hereby sacrificing local rural communities and heritage (farms, villages and landscape) to industrial interests in an area of about 15 km2.

Today the destruction of Doel and its polders for the expansion of the harbour is economically not viable. Village and polder are designated as residential and agrarian area with historical value. The government did everything to leave the properties they acquired susceptible to decay and plunder. That gave rise to the argument that ‘polder’ heritage is without worth and can be torn down.

EGD&P stands for an alternative that integrates soft values and hard values: Doel can become the link between hard values of city and port and soft values of the open space of the polder with small villages and natural, agricultural and cultural heritage. Inspiration has been found in the Convention of Faro and the integrated policy of heritage conservation & spatial planning in the Netherlands (Belvedere Note, 1999). EGD&P is an international community, a network of heritage organisations in Flanders and throughout Europe. It reflects, agitates and aspires to a partnership with the government to safeguard the future of the Polder.
Heritage is more as some relic of the past. Heritage is a living entity of beacons in a lasting environment, building bricks for a qualitative rich life. Heritage and environment are interwoven, but these are however changeable data. Economical, social, demographic, cultural and ecological factors are all influencing, so all the relevant actors must guide change in cooperation.

The swallow has become the symbol of our struggle. Swallows are the living link between nature, culture and infrastructure. A swallow flies more than 10000 kilometres away, but always returns to its old nest, their and our home! Heritage is a connecting force.

Hub Doel-Lillo

Cornerstone Magazine

Cornerstone, Vol 30, Nr 3 2009
Vol 30, Nr 3 2009

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