Stabroek en Demerara, het ontstaan van de stadsplattegrond van Georgetown (Guyana) in de achttiende eeuw
The eighteenth-century establishment of Dutch towns overseas is interesting because such town-planning matters were hardly an issue in the Netherlands itself at that time. For the then colony of Demerara (Guyana) in South America J.C. Heneman made an interesting design for a small town planned some distance upstream by the river of the same name.
His starting point was the existing structure of a plantation. The design reminds you of an ideal town of Simon Stevin. Just as in other West Indian colonies under the rule of the Dutch West India Company, decision-making was utterly slow. The little town was never realised.
On a narrow strip of land near the coast and situated by the riverbank a small town was started under the French government at the end of the eighteenth century, which later developed into Stabroek and eventually into Georgetown. A comparison with other colonial towns in the region of the WIC does not show any strong similarities.
Frequently a dominant axis was present; however, as appears from various examples, the reasons for this axis were very different and it had nothing to do with some sort of ideal for such a town, for such an ideal did not exist. In Georgetown the structure of the existing plantations in its turn determined the structure of the various parts of the town.
Copyright (c) 2003 Lex Bosman
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