Southern Defense Line, an inspirational atlas
an open book
It has become an extensive work, the inspiration-atlas about the Southern Defense Line. You will find an enormous amount of information that has never been brought together on this scale before. From historical stories to exciting ideas for the future. The atlas is intended to provide inspiring building blocks for the development of the Southern Defense Line in the coming years. The complete Southern Defense Line book (in Dutch) can be downloaded [b here b].
(Note: inspiration comes with a lot of MB’s, which may take a while to download, but don’t panic, it's worth the wait) i
For centuries the fortified towns in Brabant were defended separately. Disadvantage was the possibility of encirclement and siege. The cities were the line of defense which had to be passed in order to advance into Holland. The idea behind the Southern Defense Line is as simple as it is effective. By connecting the cities with flooded polders (inundation plains) and building defenses on the accesses, a nation-wide waterline was created with the Brabant cities as strongholds. Now, a siege was no longer possible and the cities could be supplied from the Dutch side. Troops behind the line could easily move to the battle scene. These connections will again play a major role for the future of the Zuider Water Line.
The future of the line will partly focus on utilizing these old connections between nature, cities, water and historical sites. But it is also a shared identity that brings existing fortifications, landscapes and activities together under the name Southern Defense Line. Just as Route 66 brings identity (and thus gives an economic impulse) to a whole series of locations along a road straight through the United States, so will the part of the Southern Defense Line strengthen the shared identity of fortified towns, nature reserves and leisure.
[b Three perspectives b
We describe three perspectives to bring back the Southern Defense Line. In the first perspective, we identify the opportunities for a unique, 150 kilometer long landscape and nature development zone. In the second perspective we unravel the spatial DNA of the fortifications so that they can be brought back to life again. Finally, we outline a vision of the future in which we elevate the movement along the line to an experience. The merging of perspective 1 (the planes), perspective 2 (the points) and perspective 3 (the lines) results in a distinctive and immense recreational landscape where landscape and cultural-historical values go hand in hand. A landscape that not only marks a military masterpiece and a natural phenomenon, but at the same time a still tangible religious and cultural divide line that runs through the Netherlands.