ERIC Number: ED205456
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jun-15
Reference Count: 0
Meijer, Henk, Comp.
The purpose of this document is to inform foreign (i.e., non-Dutch) geographers about Ranstad Holland. Ranstad Holland--a term which originated in the 1930's--describes the loose confederation of towns which lie close together in the rough form of a 110 mile wide horseshoe facing the Noordzee in the west of the Netherlands. Because boundaries of the Ranstad are not firmly set, no uncontested statistic of its area and population exist. A general estimate is that Ranstad contains over 44% of the population and approximately 20% of the land area of the Netherlands. The four largest cities of the Ranstad are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht. Characteristics which differentiate the Ranstad from other European urban areas include that no city can be regarded as the uncontested center of the area, there are no hierarchical relationships among the four largest cities, and Ranstad towns and cities are grouped around a rural core. Historically, the Ranstad became important after about 1300 when technical developments in civil engineering reduced the danger of regular flooding. Economically, the Ranstad has developed rapidly since the 1950's, with the most striking development being the petro-chemical industry. Contemporary planning problems, which are pursued at the regional and national levels, have concentrated on town expansion since the beginning of the 20th century. Major planning objectives are to avoid congestion and an unbalanced urban structure, to retain open spaces, to reduce socio-economic development inequalities within the region, and to reduce inequalities in the availability of social services. The Ranstad offers many possibilities for excursions to areas of historical, cultural, agricultural, natural, and industrial interest. Information on a number of these excursions concludes the document. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reference Materials - Geographic
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Information and Documentation Centre for the Geography of the Netherlands, Utrecht.
Note: Photographs and maps throughout document may not reproduce clearly from EDRS in microfiche or paper copy.