Between the introduction of the Monuments and Historic Buildings Act in 1961 and the end of 2018, 473 conservation areas were listed in The Netherlands.
The diagram above shows the cumulative number of conservation areas listed each year since the introduction of the Monuments and Historic Buildings Act 1961.
Shift in focus from appearance to structure in the 1980s
When the first conservation areas were listed, the emphasis was on visual quality. This led to the listing of small groups of picturesque old buildings, often clustered around an old church, for example. In the 1980s structure increasingly came to determine listing decisions, with a focus both on visual quality and on the layout and typology of the village, town or district. Non-built elements such as parks, canals and rural land parcelling patterns could now also be protected. This shift in focus from appearance to structure had implications for the definition of the concept of an conservation area in the revised Monuments and Historic Buildings Act 1988.
Survey launched in the 1990s
In the 1990s a start was made on the surveying of potential conservation areas featuring architecture from the period 1850-1940. Since 1991 a selection of these areas has been listed. That same year saw a peak in listing activity, with 76 conservation areas being added to the list. Rather than just historical city, town and village centres, entire urban designs and unique cultural landscape complexes such as the country estates of Wassenaar and the Grebbelinie military zone have now also been granted statutory protection.
Register of Conservation Areas - The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE)
See also the online Map of conservation areas.
31 December 2018
Monitoring frequency: annual
The count is based on conservation areas whose listing procedure has been completed. The areas subject to an ongoing procedure at the end of each year have not been included.
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