Leesbaar Landschap

“Maar ik hoef helemaal niet overal natuur, ik vind het wijdse agrarische landschap juist mooi!” “Wie bepaalt wat verrommeling is, wat mooi landschap is?” “Waarom waarderen we cultuurlandschap van een bepaalde periode, zeg 50 jaar terug, wèl, en modern cultuurlandschap niet?”

Ik probeer bewust een beetje te provoceren, maar Kees de Heer krijg je niet op de kast. Hij luistert en geeft doordacht antwoord op al die vragen. Hij onderbouwt zijn betoog met de vier “brillen” die helpen om landschappen te waarderen. Ik kan niet anders dan enthousiast raken over wat hij vertelt. De “brillen” van de methode Leesbaar Landschap zitten voortaan in mijn mentale bagage…

“Lees het landschap als een verhaal, en gebruik afwisselend 4 brillen”
Kees de Heer is bioloog en betrokken bij het pas geopende “Landschapshuis” op de Eemlandhoeve. Dat ligt middenin Arkemheen-Eemland, aangewezen als één van de twintig mooiste landschappen van Nederland. Een gebied met een lange geschiedenis, ontstaan uit de strijd tegen het water. Een gebied om te ontdekken. De methode Leesbaar Landschap kan daarbij helpen. Het zijn als het ware 4 verschillende brillen die je helpen om steeds een ander aspect van het landschap te zien. We vinden een landschap mooi, als ieder van de vier brillen een interessant plaatje oplevert. Een landschap is uit balans, en wordt vaak als minder mooi ervaren, wanneer één of meerdere van de brillen niets toont. De methode biedt een manier om samenhangen te zien en om kwaliteiten van een landschap op het spoor te komen en te bespreken.

Kees legt in de video de vier brillen uit: verticale samenhang, horizontale samenhang, seizoenssamenhang en historische samenhang. Hier is meer te lezen: Leesbaar Landschap.

Het leuke van de 4 brillen is dat het geen zwart-wit scheiding cultuur/natuur geeft. De methode geeft zelfs voor een stedelijk landschap leuke aanknopingspunten om over door te praten, terwijl een monocultuur aangeplant bos, al is het groen, snel oninteressant is.

Het Landschapshuis in dit gedeelte van Eemland-Arkemheen is bewust op een boerderij gesitueerd. Dit gebied is bij uitstek ook “gestempeld” door de boeren. Je vindt overal de landbouw invloed terug. Het Landschapshuis is voortvarend geopend en heeft allerlei plannen voor de toekomst. Er is een nauwe band met het RIC, Regionaal Innovatie Centrum, en er is een grote groep enthousiatelingen. In elk geval worder er excursies Leesbaar Landschap georganiseerd. Kees de Heer over het Landschapshuis:

meer links:
de excursie van het Landschapshuis
columns (vaak over natuur en landschap) van Kees de Heer

Live blogging Eemland conference (3) Learning Regions

These are some notes I took during the afternoon session on Thursday. The normal live blogging disclaimers (my personal notes, not an official documentation, typos and omissions are part of the act)

Learning regions

October 23, 2008
European Eemland Conference
Autumn Conference Rural Development
Netwok Netherlands

who are attending this workshop?:

  • people working at the Province
  • large group from research and education
  • someone from municipality
  • students
  • entrepreneurs, farmers
  • consultants


Aim of workshop:

  • ⁃ the variety of initiatives (knowledge arrangements for regional development
  • ⁃ knowledge offer / v. demand from the field
  • ⁃ offer d demand match
  • ⁃ white spors in KA
  • ⁃ inspire and learn from each other
  • ⁃ follow-up alliances


  • A- presentation by wiskerke professor of rural sociology
  • B- gallery of 5 Knowledge Arrangements (participants are asked to give feedback in the form of  “money” that they would like to invest in the differen KA’s
  • C- open space
  • D- initiatives as a follow up


A- Presentation by Han Wiskerke (prof of rural sociology)“On regions lost and regions regained”

On regions lost: post WW2 we focused on industrialization and food prod.
=> the landscape became more large scale, parcelation, drainage was installed: the character was changed

loss of: landscapes, biodiversity, food products, regional culture and identity

also lost: connection of development and utilisation of knowledge on the one hand and regional specificity on the other. academic knowledge was the “only valid knowledge”. a knowledge chain hierarchy resulted

regions regained: now there is a renewed social political and scientific interest in the region:

  • urban demand
  • revitalization of regional identity(rural idylle)
  • protection of valuable landscapes
  • regional specificity as an economic developmet tool (branding)
  • despite modernisation the countryside is still versatile in many respects

(slide of the different Dutch landscapes).

The challenge of regional learning: reconnect knowledge to regional practices (of all stakeholders). knowledge for impact, diversity of practices

how do you organize this? regional learning communities of regional actors and knowledge institutes, aim to embed knowledge in regional practices

this requires: long term commitments and agreements between all partners (knowledge institutes and actors). institutionalisation of these commitments in education and research. this is a real challenge: how to put regional learning in practice?

no single recipe!  however there may be some general underlying principles and specific factors to do so.

5 examples

werkplaats; newcastle university; RIC plattelands academie; kennisloket, countyside exchange

questions for Han Wiskerke:
*academics are payed just for producing knowledge, other knowledge producers not

  • -in Leader one of the conditions for getting a subsidy is to share your knowledge
  • -innovative entrepreneurs: when you give more than you get, you get paid

*it is a lot to ask from volunteers; how to build better bridges between those who are paid an income directly for doing this, and those who have to find “value” in it?.

  • han: long term arrangements
  • willem foorthuis, regional transition (belongs to Groene Kennis Cooperatie)
    working on connecting to regional scale with national scope
  • knowledge and learning

*knowledge institution are trying to monopolize learning but lots of learning takes place outside knowledge institutions

  • that is what we can contribute: our core business is learning, we can share this

*what is first: knowledge / learning or change?

the moderator ask us to be still for 30 sec and think about:

What is the question that you think you can solve with rural KA?

B- the “gallery” of 5 different knowledge arrangements
1. Kennisloket (knowledge guichet)
getting the schools involved in local dev.

a collaboration between educational institutes (all types of secondary schools) that want to contribute to reconstuction. the experiences from the region are used in the curricula. kennisloket has eductional interfaces. It includes education, research & government. Link with the region is made by “streekhuizen” (centres for the region, that already existed). In the Province of Brabant are 5 “kennisloketten”.

  • we find the personal contact very important
  • if the askers don’t have time to jointly develop an answer, they should go to a professional agency
  • average process time from question to answer: 6 months

2 Workplace, or “Werkplaats”, by Lectorate Van Hall Larenstein and Wageningen –Rural Development

  • innovative research
  • trans powerment: inhabitants, governments, science, experts, companies, education
  • multi-actor / multi discipline accompanying during the entire process
  • go into the regions, personal contact. students go into the field, talk to the villagers in the local Inn (they have an office and hostel in a village)
  • the process is cyclic. from theory to project and to practical experience
  • it is different and re-developed each time
  • from project to process
  • region, regional stakeholders (entrepreneurs, locals, gov) and education and research
  • regional innovation programme: dev of knowledge agenda and projects
  • signed regional contract
  • multi-actor learning, knowledge innovation environment
  • learning-by-doing: execution of projects for the living environment. by: students teachers, researchers experts entrepreneurs, locals gov. officials

what do the region see as the results?
-when they bring a problem, they do not really know how to go about it. they find creative process in our workplace. regional innovation programme


3 Plattelandsacademie /RIC by: sandra, LEI and ron, CAH

ron: his passion is to deliver excellent professionals to society.his story is linked to the first story

regions are differentiated. two circles: 1 people are trying to do their business 2: schools, with their own rythm and rules etc. How to create the connection between the two? education interfaces
the school system should have a “guichet”, which is like an entrance.

regional committees were already present in some areas. not in others, that is where we started plattelandsacademie. filter out of the region the real questions and decide where to deliver the question

SLOW ADVICE: confer: slow food vs fast food

reformulating the question helps you to find part of the answers

it might look like all questions go to ed institutes, but it is only 20%

RIC: regional innovation center (eg in Eemland, nearby). In this area is increasing urban sprawl from Amersfoort. This creates new city-countryside relations and new opportunities. How?:  connect to education. this is plattelandsacademie. also regional meeting place. we try to match parties

in Eemland case a local knowledgeable man with living knowledge is also closely involved. kees: biography of the landscape. connect “Wageningen” knowledge to community knowledge, via google maps app

workplace is long term commitment
RIC is more for entrepreneurs, to pay for access
the school should pay for creating the openness of their institute

RIC operates as a broker between knowledge, a match maker
funding is still a challenge for the future

4. country side exchange, bruisend vechtdal.
100.000 inhabitants

process: LOC (local organizing committee) prepares plan, agenda. a team of international experts are brought in for a 1 week very intensive programme. then proposals, plans, solution directions are discussed
beneficial or failure?

a new committee was formed after failure of the first. there was some sceptism, distrust, but the LOC persisted. local rural dev group, supported by: stimuland, ETC

the role of those last raises mixed feelings. they had the best intentions, but …. all, and therefor no-one, felt responsible. can you expect from volunteers that they have the capacity? the process should be more professional.

then we found excellent experts, immediate chemistry… together they managed to make the programme succesful. it was fun and people were talking about it
over 100 people present at final presentation

but then… municipalities stopped funding, ETC/stimuland also stopped, while the people were just starting
but because of “a few weirdo’s” they insisted and continued

LOC: no money, but building up their group. 40 projects on their list
if you have endurance, patience, luck and skills, you will succeed

8 recommendations
1. form core business / goals, incl finance
2. describe what you need and with whom
3. efficiency and smart
4. make clear early on, how much time volunteers can or should give
5. there should be more continuous focus on projet org and PM
6. some form of pament for volunteers / members
7. open attitude
8. preserve money and guidance after CE for the local group

again: a platform, a function for matchmaking, brokering,

2 questions:
1. who is responsible for follow up?
2. …


5. Jane Atterton and Nicole Thompson from Newcastle University; Northern Rural Network

public sector, community sector and working with rurdev practioners. there was a recognition in the university. now 1100 members. team is managed at univ.

objectives: promoting shared understanding, shared learning about issues facing rurdev in N england; a way for showcasing research; exchanging best practices and highlight innovation

activities: seminars and short courses; rural business survey 2008; reserach based action learning with businesses; local development activity; website

funding: national, regional, charity foundation, university contributes in kind

  • 3 people in management
  • steering group: mixed bunch
  • “critical friend”: an expert coach
    regular reporting to funders

for who?: mixed constituents and mixed audience
email and contact: events are free to attend
roughly half from public sector and hybrids that have part private funds
local org’s
private sector

what do our members think?
-real experts
-latest develoments in rural policy
-good practice
-new perspectives
-balanced debate
-quality evidence
-networking in ‘neutral space’

not good follow up for practical difference on the ground
not very participantive, no way to influence agenda

focus on rural economies and businesses
reporting requirements for funders and ‘measuring impacts’


C.  feed back:

1. kennisloket: 4 sheets of 10.000
number and diversity of schools working with the KA
clear and independent
all stakeholders around the table
most organised

go meet the rest of Holland

2. workplace (program regional transition) : 7 notes of 10.000
rightl balance between local and ??
inside and outside the region
well structured, also long term
very necessary for knowledge

3. RIC: 2 notes of 10.000
working in the fiel and close to the content
stimulate local people to enter and share their knowledge
connect also w other regions
(obs: potential is not a compliment if it always remains a potential)

4. country side exchange: 1 note of 10.000
organize groups
involve disadvantaged groups
to get ownership
in addition to starter budget
make a plan

problem: those who want to do it need to do it themselves. but don’t have time. combine plans.

5. NRN: 2 notes of 10.000
strong commitment and visibility at grass roots level
highlight best practices
comment: involve stakeholders more actiively

how to formulate hard outputs

6. new arrangements
11 notes
dissatisfied or new creativity?

these 5: sharing experiences within and between regions

over country borders
organize a stairway to paradise in small and safe steps
give room for passion
only experts from the regions, no schools (is this resentment that it is only about people from the regions, not with)

give support to local grassroots organizations, invest in the people

link and unite knowledge

workplace is rooting in government
plattelandsacademie is entrepreneurial


C – open space

– we are moving away from an expert model, towards a network model. university is a broker. we tend to form entrepreneurial networks on a regioanl basis (2,5 million people area) learning from the region, than come forward

– networks need to be supported. it is a myth that they spontaneously keep going

– e-extension entrepreneurship community entrepreneurship. yes use ICT

– our facilitators do a lot of work. we do constant evaluation

– asset based approach. what are the assets and how do you use those
social constructivist approach, emphasize the positive things instead of focussing on weaknesses.

concrete initiatives or conclusions:

-living knowledge and cliptoo: the possibilities are unlimited
-we will develop a program against bureaucracy
– local people should be leading
– these KA are still based on terms and conditions of the institutes

Veerman over ons moreel kompas, Huijgen over voelhorens

Veerman op de Eemland Conferentie

link naar video met Veerman

U benadrukte in uw speech het belang van de individuele verantwoordelijkheid, terwijl anderen juist het belang van relaties met andersoortige stakeholders benadrukken. Kunt u dat toelichten?

Ik heb het ook gehad over de verantwoordelijkheid van een organisatie, als een ethische, morele eenheid.
Kijk, als we niet het goede geweten als kompas gebruiken, het geweten in plaats daarvan proberen vast te leggen in regels en wetten, en zeggen, “nou we hebben aan de wet voldaan, dan zijn we dus een goed mens, dan hebben we netjes geopereerd” dan komen we dus te kort. Want we kunnen a) niet alles vastleggen in regels en wetten en b) het afgaan slechts op die regels en wetten verschoont ons teveel van de vraag: “doe ik het nu goed? kan ik hiermee rechtvaardigen voor mezelf dat ik op een correcte wijze in het leven sta? ” En dat kan nooit anders beantwoord worden dan door een goed opgevoed en getraind geweten.

Eigen verantwoordelijkheid dus?

Eigen verantwoordelijkheid.

Bent u het met me eens dat het ook gaat om voelhorens naar onze omgeving en naar ándere belanghebbenden in onze omgeving, en dat we die voelhorens zouden kunnen trainen, naast het eigen geweten?

Dat eigen geweten is de vrucht van karakter, opvoeding en relaties met anderen, zo ontstaat dat. Maar dat kunnen we niet wegpoetsen. Ons geweten heeft een centrale rol in ons leven, dat maakt ons tot wie we zijn. Dat is onze verantwoordelijkheid naar anderen en naar de schepping.

Vervolgens vroeg ik Jan Huijgen hetzelfde: het belang van voelhorens naar onze omgeving?

link naar video met Jan Huijgen
Jan vertelt dat dat essentieel is. Wil je verbindingen leggen, dan moet dat starten met interesse en van daaruit ga je verder bouwen. Hij legt in het filmpje een voorbeeld uit van een school die de boerderij bezoekt, of iemand die vraagt naar de herkomst van een smaakvol produkt. Als je (via die voelhorens) die ander begrijpt, kun het overbrengen. Dan ontstaan waardevolle verbindingen tussen twee werelden.