Alblasserdam is aDutch dyke village dating to the thirteenth century, with its earliest houses built along the embankment of a major dyke. Most of its history is closely related to shipping and shipbuilding. The village center had a harbor for inland ships and a navigation lock; in the hinterland, industrialization created several yards where workers built many types of vessels: Simple wooden rowing boats, wooden ships, and steel ships. Other yards related to shipbuilding—a steel mill, a construction yard for railway infrastructure—rose there too. Thematerial used in these yards came in by ship and ferry. Today, the local ferry has been replaced by bridges and a tunnel. Sites once hosting major shipyard now hold housing. Halls that were used to build minesweepers for the Dutch Navy are now used for building beautiful yachts. Cranes and old buildings alike have disappeared, and new areas have become available for redevelopment. Five objects on thewaterfront of theNoord exemplify the connections of history to possible transformations in the future, and the question of safeguarding the area’s history as cultural heritage: The site of the Nedstal steel factor, the historic bridge (and an art installation proposed for it), the shipyard of van de Giessen de Noord, the Oude Werf yard, and the Mercon Kloos site. Two citizen initiatives seek to restore and manage cultural heritage in the Alblasserwaard and the river Noord. The analysis shows that cultural heritage has gotten more attention from public and private stakeholders and civil society over time.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Alblasserwaard, Citizen participation, Public space, River art, Riverfront, Water heritage
ISBN 978-3-030-00268-8
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00268-8_15, hdl.handle.net/1765/127622
Citation
Den Boer, A. (Arie). (2019). Neglected and undervalued cultural heritage: Waterfronts and riverbanks of Alblasserwaard, the Netherlands. In Adaptive Strategies for Water Heritage: Past, Present and Future (pp. 291–307). doi:10.1007/978-3-030-00268-8_15