Skip to main content

Unscripted Spaces. Urban Green Space and Terrains Vagues in Historical Perspective. Antwerp (Belgium) c. 1900

  • Chapter
  • 169 Accesses

Part of the Cities and Nature book series (CITIES)

Abstract

This article studies urban green spaces and terrains vagues in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Antwerp. The research compares the perspective of citizens with the official policy on urban public green spaces. The article reveals the importance of these “unscripted spaces” for the urban population as opposed to the negative connotation that is generally assigned to them and in contrast with the official policy about open spaces at the turn of the century.

Keywords

  • Urban green space
  • Wastelands
  • Appropriation
  • Perception
  • Popular education
  • Urban history

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-74882-1_16
  • Chapter length: 22 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-74882-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1

Source City Archive Antwerp (SAA), 12#488

Fig. 2

Source SAA, 40#964

Fig. 3

Source SAA, FOTO-OF#13799

Fig. 4

Source SAA, FOTO-OF#7264

Fig. 5

Source SAA, FOTO-OF#17

Notes

  1. 1.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1870:2, 315.

  2. 2.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1870:1, 316–317.

  3. 3.

    City Archive Antwerp (SAA), 571#32, Archives of the head engineer, 1886.

  4. 4.

    City Archive Antwerp (SAA), 571#32, Archives of the head engineer, Plans for courts designed by engineer Lemeunier, 1904–1905.

  5. 5.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1869:2, 54–65.

  6. 6.

    Ibid., 54–65.

  7. 7.

    SAA, 571#7, Letters between the city architect and the city council about security in the city park, June 1869.

  8. 8.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1872:2, 350–359.

  9. 9.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1895:1, 186.

  10. 10.

    Ibid.

  11. 11.

    SAA, 571#32, Archives of the Head Engineer, Letter from Willems to the college of aldermen, 11 January 1895.

  12. 12.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1895:1, 185.

  13. 13.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1894:2, 308–309.

  14. 14.

    Ibid.

  15. 15.

    Ibid.

  16. 16.

    SAA, MA#46092B, Archive of the Parks and Public Garden Service, Letter from the head of plantations to the city engineer, 23 January 1888.

  17. 17.

    SAA, MA#46092B, Archive of the Parks and Public Garden Service, Letter from the head of plantations to the college of aldermen, 5 April 1893.

  18. 18.

    SAA, MA#46092B, Archive of the Parks and Public Garden Service, Letters about the wall around the Stuivenbergplein, 1893–1899.

  19. 19.

    SAA, MA#46092B, Archive of the Parks and Public Garden Service, Letter from the aldermen’s college to the police, 5 April 1895.

  20. 20.

    “La fête municipale des Arbres à Anvers,” Le Samedi, 17 maart 1906, 1.

  21. 21.

    SAA, MA#46092B, Archive of the Parks and Public Garden Service, Report about the tree festival by Henri De Bosschere, head of Parks and Public Garden Service, March 1906.

  22. 22.

    “Discours de M. V. Desguin, échevin, f.f. de bourgemestre,” Le Samedi, 17 March 1906, 2.

  23. 23.

    Ibidem.

  24. 24.

    SAA, MA#46092B, Archive of the Parks and Public Garden Service, Report about the prosecution of an unknown perpetrator by Augustinus De Smet, 21 July 1906.

  25. 25.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1904:2, 425.

  26. 26.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1904:2, 423–424.

  27. 27.

    SAA, MA#46092B, Archive of the Parks and Public Garden Service, Letter from the college of aldermen to the Parks and Public Garden Service, 26 November 1901.

  28. 28.

    Stad Antwerpen, Gemeenteblad, 1908:2, 703.

References

  • Barron P, Mariani M (eds) (2001) Terrain vague: interstices at the edge of the pale. Routledge, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Bertels I, Furnée JH, Sintobin T, Vandevoorde H, van de Schoor R (eds) (2013) Tussen beleving en verbeelding. De stad in de negentiende-eeuwse literatuur. Universitaire Pers, Leuven

    Google Scholar 

  • Brantz D, Dümpelmann S (eds) (2011) Greening the city. Urban landscapes in the twentieth century. University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville

    Google Scholar 

  • Broeders J (1929) Het faboert. In: Franck L (ed) Weerspiegeld Antwerpen. Hoe ’t vroeger was: onze schrijvers over hun stad. De Sikkel, Antwerpen, pp 153–161

    Google Scholar 

  • Clark P, Niemi M, Niemelä J (eds) (2009) Sport, recreation and green space in the European City. Finnish Literature Society, Helsinki

    Google Scholar 

  • Clark P, Jauhiainen J (eds) (2006) The European City and green space. London, Stockholm, Helsinki and St Petersburg, 1850-2000. Ashgate, Aldershot

    Google Scholar 

  • Corbin A (1998) Village bells: sound and meaning in the nineteenth-century French countryside. Columbia University Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Daly C (1863) Promenades et plantations. Parcs. Jardins publiques. Squares et boulevards de Paris. Revue De L’architecture 21:245–249

    Google Scholar 

  • De Solà-Morales I (1995) Terrain vague. In: Davidson C (ed) Anyplace. The MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 118–123

    Google Scholar 

  • De Koster M, Reinke H (2012) Geheimen van jongeren. De Antwerpse jeugd en haar nachtleven in de vroege twintigste eeuw. Tijdschrift over Cultuur Criminaliteit 2(2):32–46

    Google Scholar 

  • Den Hollander M (2006) Sport in ’t stad: Antwerpen 1830–1914. Universitaire Pers Leuven, Leuven

    Google Scholar 

  • Edensor T (1995) Industrial ruins: space, aesthetics and materiality. Bloomsbury, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Eekeleers W (1929) Het Half-Maantje. In: Franck L (ed) Weerspiegeld Antwerpen. Hoe ’t vroeger was: onze schrijvers over hun stad. De Sikkel, Antwerpen, pp 194–198

    Google Scholar 

  • Franck L (1929) Tot inleiding. In: Franck L (ed) Weerspiegeld Antwerpen. Hoe ’t vroeger was: onze schrijvers over hun stad. De Sikkel, Antwerpen, pp V–XI

    Google Scholar 

  • Franck K, Stevens Q (eds) (2007) Loose space: possibility and diversity in public life. Routledge, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Groth J, Corijn E (2005) Reclaiming urbanity: indeterminate spaces, informal actors and urban agenda setting. Urban Stud 42(3):503–526

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hannikainen M (2014) The greening of London—The development of public green spaces in Camden and Southwark from the mid-1920s to the late 1990s, Unpublished dissertation University of Helsinki, Helsinki

    Google Scholar 

  • Horemans J (1929) Het Zuidkwartier. In: Weerspiegeld Antwerpen. Hoe ’t vroeger was: onze schrijvers over hun stad. De Sikkel, Antwerpen, pp 315–317

    Google Scholar 

  • Jorgensen A, Tylecote M (2007) Ambivalent landscapes—wilderness in the urban interstices. Landscape Res 32(4):443–462

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kenny N (2014) The feel of the city. Experiences of urban transformation. University of Toronto Press, Toronto

    Google Scholar 

  • Kivell P, Hatfield S (1998) Derelict land: some positive perspectives. In: Kivell P, Roberts P, Walker GP (eds) Environment, planning and land use. Routledge, London, pp 118–130

    Google Scholar 

  • Laakkonen S (2011) Asphalt kids and the matrix city: reminiscences of children’s urban environmental history. Urban History 38(2):301–323

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lachmund J (2013) Greening Berlin: the co-production of science, politics, and urban nature. The MIT Press, London

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Latour B, Hermant E (1998) Paris ville invisible. Institut Synthélabo pour le progrès de la connaissance, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Lawrence HW (1993) The greening of the squares of London: transformation of urban landscapes and ideals. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 83(1):90–118

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lefebvre H (1991) The production of space. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Lésveque L (1999) Montréal, l’informe urbanite des terrains vagues: pour un egestion créatrice du mobilier urban. Les annals de la recherché urbaine 85:47–57

    Google Scholar 

  • Lynch K (1960) The image of the city. The MIT Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Massart-Guilbaud G (2010) Histoire de la pollution industrielle. France, 1789–1914. Ehess, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Maver I (1998) Glasgow’s public parks and the community, 1850–1914: a case study in Scottish civic interventionism. Urban History 25(3):323–347

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mayer I (2009) Children and the quest for purity in the nineteenth century Scottish city. Paedagogica Historica 33(3):801–824

    Google Scholar 

  • Meller H (1995) Urban renewal and citizenship: the quality of life in British cities, 1890–1990. Urban History 22(1):63–83

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Nabarro R, Richards D (1980) Wasteland: a Thames television report. Associated Book Publishers, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Nolin C (2006) Stockholm’s urban parks: meeting places and social contexts from 1860–1930. In: Clark P (ed) The European city and green space. London, Stockholm, Helsinki and St Petersburg, 1850-2000. Ashgate, Aldershot, pp 111–126

    Google Scholar 

  • Papayanis N (2009) Planning Paris before Haussmann. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore

    Google Scholar 

  • Parrinello G (2013) The city-territory: large-scale planning and development policies in the aftermath of the 1968 Belice earthquake (Sicily). Plan Perspect Int J History Plan Environ 28(4):571–593

    Google Scholar 

  • Qviström M (2007) Landscapes out of order: studying the inner urban fringe beyond the rural—urban divide. Human Geography 89(3):269–282

    Google Scholar 

  • Qviström M (2008) A waste of time? On spatial planning and ‘wastelands’ at the city edge of Malmö (Sweden). Urban For Urban Green 7:157–169

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Qviström M, Saltzman K (2006) Exploring landscape dynamics at the edge of the city: spatial plans and everyday places at the inner urban Fringe of Malmö Sweden. Landscape Res 31(1):21–41

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Reeder D (2006) The social construction of green space in London prior to the Second World War. In: Clark P (ed) The European city and green space. London, Stockholm, Helsinki and St Petersburg, 1850-2000. Ashgate, Aldershot, pp 41–67

    Google Scholar 

  • Schildt A, Siegfried D (eds) (2005) European cities, youth and the public sphere in the twentieth century. Ashgate, Aldershot

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmook G (1929) Zurenborg. In: Franck L (ed) Weerspiegeld Antwerpen. Hoe ’t vroeger was: onze schrijvers over hun stad. De Sikkel, Antwerpen, pp 178–193

    Google Scholar 

  • Stilgoe J (2005) Landscape and images. University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville

    Google Scholar 

  • Strohmayer U (2006) Urban design and civic spaces: nature at the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in Paris. Cultural Geograph 13:557–576

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Stynen A (2010) Proeftuinen van burgerlijkheid. Stadsnatuur in negentiende-eeuws België. Unpublished dissertation, University of Leuven, Leuven

    Google Scholar 

  • Swyngedouw E, Kaïka M (2000) The environment of the city… or the urbanization of nature. In: Bridge G, Watson S (eds) A companion to the city. Blackwell Publishers, London, pp 567–580

    Google Scholar 

  • Talja S (2014) Sport, recreation and space in urban policy: Helsinki and Dublin from the 1940s to the 1970s. Unpublished Dissertation. University of Helsinki, Helsinki

    Google Scholar 

  • Taverne E (1978) In ’t land van belofte: in de nieue stad. Ideaal en werkelijkheid van de stadsuitleg in de Republiek 1580–1680. Schwartz, Maarssen

    Google Scholar 

  • Taverne E, Wagenaar C (1993) De ‘city of the mind’. In: Taverne E, Visser I (ed) Stedebouw, de geschiedenis van de stad in de Nederlanden van 1500 tot heden. SUN, Nijmegen, pp 330–357

    Google Scholar 

  • Tritsmans B (2015) Versatile green. An alternative perspective on green space, late nineteenth-century Antwerp. Urban History 42(1):89–112

    Google Scholar 

  • Tritsmans B (2016) Bomen zijn waardevolle bijkomstigheden. Stedelijk groen in Antwerpen, 1859–1973. Universitaire Pers Leuven, Leuven

    Google Scholar 

  • Tritsmans B, Stynen A (2015) Stadsgroen onder spanning: debatten over ruimtegebruik negentiende-eeuws Antwerpen. Tijdschrift Voor Geschiedenis 128(1):45–68

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tritsmans B, Dewaelheyns V, De Smet A, Vanbutsele S (2018) Exploring Semi-natural spaces in the val de béguines. In: Dewaelheyns V, Leinfelder H, Gullinck H (eds) Challenging the boxes. Interfaces in landscape and land use. Gompel & Svacina, Oud-Turnhout, pp 132–145

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Hoof F (1929) De Dam of de parochie van St-Job. In: Franck L (ed) Weerspiegeld Antwerpen. Hoe ’t vroeger was: onze schrijvers over hun stad. De Sikkel, Antwerpen, pp 78–86

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Houtven S (2010) De negentiende-eeuwse stedelijke politiepraktijk door de bril van de buurt de Antwerpse Seefhoek, 1879. In: De Koster M, De Munck B, Greefs H, Willems B, Winter A (eds) Werken aan de stad. Stedelijke actoren en structuren in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden 1500–1900. Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussel, pp 269–278

    Google Scholar 

  • Ward-Thompson C (2002) Urban open space in the 21st century. Landscape Urban Plan 60:59–72

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bart Tritsmans .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Tritsmans, B. (2021). Unscripted Spaces. Urban Green Space and Terrains Vagues in Historical Perspective. Antwerp (Belgium) c. 1900. In: Di Pietro, F., Robert, A. (eds) Urban Wastelands. Cities and Nature. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74882-1_16

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74882-1_16

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-74881-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-74882-1

  • eBook Packages: HistoryHistory (R0)