New Dutch Water Defense Line at Utrecht, Fort Ruigenhoek (Source: RCE Amersfoort, 2009, nr. 546.217).
Pondering the Past: Exploring the Synergy between Water Management and Heritage Management


  • Jean-Paul Corten Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Netherlands




Because of the urgency of the current water challenges, we need to decide on a water-heritage agenda. In order to do so, we should first disentangle the sometimes confusing relationship between water management and heritage management. Where do water and heritage management meet and how can they serve each other? It is argued that fruitful synergy between the two disciplines can be reached in three dimensions: the historic dimension, the conservation dimension and the planning dimension. The subject of interaction between the two disciplines differs per dimension and relates to the changing water system, the heritage we cherish and a changing living environment respectively. The synergy to be reached between the two disciplines differs accordingly.

How to Cite

Corten, J.-P. (2023). Pondering the Past: Exploring the Synergy between Water Management and Heritage Management. Blue Papers, 2(2), 56–67.





challenges, concepts and new approaches

Author Biography

Jean-Paul Corten, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Netherlands

Jean-Paul Corten obtained his degree in history at Utrecht University, after which he studied planning. He started his career as a researcher in the history of technology at Eindhoven University. Currently he is employed as senior policy officer on Integrated Conservation at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science). He is also affiliated with the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University of Rotterdam. He is involved in many urban regeneration projects abroad.


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