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Dutch Social Housing: Past and Future

The Netherlands has an internationally renowned social housing legacy, resulting from urbanization and determined by a visionary Housing Act of 1901. Today this legacy is a pressing issue. This video addresses questions on how to deal with a building stock that no longer fits the current social, economic, environmental and cultural needs and how and to what extent this existing housing stock can serve current and future needs.

The Justus Quarter in Rotterdam, completed in 1921, serves as a case study to highlight conflicting interests between public policy and private development can be resolved through careful consideration of its heritage and legacy.

Video Summary


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Drs Jean-Paul Corten
Senior Policy Officer 

Cultural Heritage Agency 

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

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 a senior policy officer on Integrated Conservation at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science). Jean-Paul is affiliated with the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University of Rotterdam. He is involved in many urban regeneration projects abroad.

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Dr Nicholas J Clarke


Heritage and Architecture, Architectural Engineering and Technology

TU Delft

Nicholas Clarke is a South African architect and lecturer at the section of Heritage and Architecture at the Delft University of Technology, where he defended his PhD thesis How Heritage Learns in 2021. He has co-authored and co-edited a number of award-winning publications on architectural heritage and conservation, focusing on shared heritage, resilience and sustainable development, including Eclectic ZA-Wilhelmiens: A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa (LM: Pretoria, 2014, co-edited with Karel Bakker and Roger Fisher).

His architectural practice focuses on restoration and impact assessment. Nicholas has worked in World Heritage for over a decade and is active in ICOMOS International’s World Heritage reactive monitoring and advisory processes.


Additional Information

  • Clarke, N.J., (2021), How Heritage Learns: Dutch Public Housing Heritage Evolution in Ecosystemic Perspective. [PhD Dissertation] TU Delft.


  • Archives

    • NA – Nationaal Archief, the Hague

    • RCE – Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

    • SAA – Stadsarchief Amsterdam

    • SAR – Stadsarchief

  • Brinkman, M. (1923). Galerijbouw in den Polder Spangen Door M Brinkman. Rotterdams Jaarboekje, XLII– 

  • XZV. W. L. & J. Brusse.

  • Housden, B. (1960). M. Brinkman, JA, Brinkman, L. C. van der Vlught, JH van den Broek, J.B. Bakema. Architectural Association Journal, LXXVI(847), 150–179.

  • Siebers, A. (1924). De galerijbouw Spangen van Architect M Brinkman. Bouwen, 3, 193–8.

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