For Heerenveen extensive heritage policies were developed, which not only indicates new monuments but also serves as a key component of an integral and area-oriented constituent of Heerenveen’s spatial and building policy.
At the time of this commission there were plans for establishing a Municipal Structural Vision and for the revision of the building aesthetics policy document, the Monuments Act and the logging permit policy. Consequently, the new cultural heritage policy could be incorporated in a number of concurrent adjustments to municipal policy.
More than ever before, cultural history is becoming an important factor of consideration when establishing building plans and spatial developments. The Municipal Executive seeks to keep the historical development of the city alive, but at the same time wishes to maintain the momentum and the growth process. This is possible by identifying and preserving the signs of the development of this town in the province of Friesland, such as the peat reclamation, the rich estates or the Frisian notables.
The heritage report consists of three parts. The first part, the cultural-historical context of Heerenveen, serves as a basis. Objects are not regarded as separate elements, but are seen in conjunction with their surroundings. This spatial-historical setting provides support when establishing substantiated deliberations concerning the retention of objects or otherwise. On the basis of the outline of the historical development, the city is divided into a number of different areas, each with their own characteristic spatial qualities and visual attributes in the field of urban planning and landscape.
The second part consists of the selection of over 250 new monuments, indicated and described per area in accordance with the official criteria for the description of monuments. The third part contains a spatial and heritage policy evaluation, together with recommendations to better adjust municipal policy to provincial and national policy in the near future.
Paulien van der Lely, Policy Advisor urban planning of the municipality of Heerenveen, comments on the Steenhuismeurs report: “In the report ‘the story of Heerenveen’ is told by means of an extensive description per area of the geomorphological basis, the economic and social developments and the resulting effect on spatial developments. Part of this is a full inventory and valuation report of the cultural heritage of the municipality as a whole, including the reconstruction heritage.
This has led to a selection of 256 objects to be added to the municipal monument list. The selection to be retained for the future consists of precisely those objects that are important in relating the identity of the different areas. Not only buildings, but also electricity substations, an old tram bridge, the eco cathedral designed by the artist Louis le Roy, and three hundred trees are recommended for designation as municipal monuments.
With their enthusiasm, dedication and active involvement in the course of the process, SteenhuisMeurs have succeeded in conveying the value of cultural heritage to the various groups of interested parties and stakeholders, the council, and the citizens of Heerenveen in general.”