Our researchers have repeatedly been awarded large international grants and lead or participate in extensive European projects. We nurture an extensive network of fellow academics and work closely with designers, urban planners and landscape architects, as well as administrative experts, economists and IT specialists. Our network also includes governments, companies, associations and other public and private partners. Together, we explore how we can use heritage to make the world more sustainable and social.
The researchers coordinate the heritage education of the master's in Heritage Studies at the VU, which is unique in the Netherlands and internationally. This is an interdisciplinary and international master's programme for archaeologists, architectural historians, (historical) geographers, historians, policy-makers and designers (planners, architects, landscape architects and urban planners). The programme introduces students to the main principles of the historical study of the landscape and the city, to contemporary heritage care and to the current treatment of the cultural-historical values of objects and spaces in our environment.
We also coordinate the minor Erfgoed en Ruimte (Spatial Heritage), in close cooperation with Reinwardt Academie, the Amsterdam programme for applied Heritage Studies. This joint package of 30 ECTS is unique in the Netherlands and offers students the chance to get acquainted with current heritage challenges in academia and the professional field.
Areas of interest/methods
The research group distinguishes itself nationally and internationally with a unique profile, characterised by the combination of innovative historical research and a future-oriented design and planning perspective. In particular, we look at the relationship between (world) heritage and major social and spatial challenges, such as climate adaptation, migration, multiculturalism and democratisation. In doing so, we use a variety of concepts, methods and techniques, from landscape biography and citizen participation to digital, geographical information systems and 3D.
Our research is housed within the interdisciplinary, interfaculty research institute CLUE+, which stands for the history and heritage of Cultural Landscape and Urban Environment. Our group is responsible for edits and writes books and articles and publishes its own scientific publication series, Landscape and Heritage Studies (Amsterdam University Press) and leads the Journal of European Landscapes.
HERILAND. CULTURAL HERITAGE AND THE PLANNING OF EUROPEAN LANDSCAPES. This project focuses on the relationship between heritage management and spatial planning and design. The project is led by the heritage team of the Vrije Universiteit (EU H2020 Marie Curie ITN, 4M. EUR, 21 partners, coordination Prof. Dr. Gert-jan Burgers).
FIRESCAPES: Towards an interdisciplinary understanding of wildfire risk mitigation in the Dutch landscape. In this project, we want to map this knowledge gap on the relationship between wildfires, wildfire risk reduction and mitigation measures and the ecological, cultural and political values of the Dutch landscape. We will conduct a pilot study of the Veluwe and connect with land managers and policy makers in the area. Finally, we aim to integrate the project within our different bachelor and master teaching programmes. Research Team: Dr Linde Egberts, Dr Evelien de Hoop, Assistant Professor Health and Sustainability at the Athena Institute, Dr Marleen de Ruiter, Assistant Professor, Water & Climate Risk, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Dr Sander Veraverbeke, Associate Professor Climate & Ecosystems Change, Faculty of Science.
Accessing Campscapes. Inclusive Strategies for Using European Conflicted Heritage. (iC-ACCESS. HERA Call 'Uses of the Past', 1.2M. EUR, 14 partners, led by Prof. Dr. Rob van der Laarse) This project considers traces of twentieth century mass destruction and terror as tangible reminders of the 'age of extremes'.
Exploded View. Exploded View is an artistic research project financed by the Mondriaan Fund and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (1,5K Euro, project leaders Gert-Jan Burgers and Krien Clevis). It invites makers and thinkers from different disciplines to investigate urban landscapes in transition from the perspective of their heritage history.