Challenges in the region

The largest of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands, the province of Gelderland is a mix of rural landscapes and modern urban areas with the most castles in the country. Due to its strategic location and links to important surrounding areas, Gelderland welcomes about 4 million visitors annually. The province has its own administration where it coordinates on matters such as traffic and transport, urban and country planning and the environment. Therefore, Gelderland is well suited to make assessments from a broader perspective still focusing on its own region.

At the end of 2019, a discussion paper has been sent to the parliament with one of the aims of having a focus with funding projects. Three Gelderse estate zones have been chosen to participate in Innocastle, through which the province hopes to learn more about the role of government in relation to others maintaining and developing castles and estates. Working on the learning cases in the Innocastle program will be helpful to understand the benefits and challenges of a spatial approach.

A detailed description of all the learning cases is available here.

Action plan

With the help of the learning cases, a new approach will be implemented in 2020 to find new partners and for the estates to adopt a new role. Connecting the field of historic estates to other policy fields like climate adaptation (Baakse Beek), tourism (Gelders Arcadië) and spatial fragmentation (Twello) will play a big role in this too. The findings of the learning cases will support the province of Gelderland in renewing the Culture & Heritage policy program.

Learning cases in short 

Power Landscapes of Gelders Arcadia – Finding a common ground between the estate landscape, heritage tourism and values

Through Innocastle, heritage tourism on a regional scale needs to be developed with the emphasis on the power landscapes. The story of the castles and country houses should be widely told to the public. 

Estate zone of Twello – Bringing all parties together to create a sufficient plan for the future

To be able to recognize the municipality as a quality zone in the process of urban developments, new legislation to reinforce the character of the area needs to be developed. 

Estate Zone Baakse Beek – Active ‘climate adaptation’ and landscape design 

Baakse Beek has many opportunities to connect various themes of nature, heritage, water management and exchange of landed property. Through landscape design, heritage can be made part of changing the water system in the area. The right role for the province to play in the adoption needs to be further investigated.