The Droogmakerij De Beemster (Beemster Polder), dating from the early 17th century, was one of the largest reclaimed landareas in the Netherlands. It has preserved intact its well-ordered landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements, laid out in accordance with the principles of classical and Renaissance planning. Beemster was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1999 and celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2012. In September Beemster was a perfect host for the participants of the Regional Conference.
Start of the Conference and some Changes
Beemster´s Mayor Harry Brinkman welcomed the participants and gave a short outline about the upcoming schedule. Then the Mayor of Regensburg Hans Schaidinger expressed his thank for the support from Beemster and OWHC over the last months, which made the start of the new Secretariat much easier. He also introduced the new OWHC exhibition and the brochure to the participants as accomplished parts of the working programm. OWHC Secretary General Denis Ricard had the sad duty to tribute Siri Myrvoll, former Regional Coordinator, who passed away last year. He also stressed the important role Siri Myrvoll played by developing and enhancing the influence and structures of OWHC. In the afternoon Beemster itself was introduced to the participants by Han Hefting. He gave a lively and informative lecture about the Beemster Polder and its history as well as about the challenges this Heritage site is facing nowadays.
After this, all member cities in good standing were invited to join the Region´s Delegates Meeting. During the meeting Regensburg presented the current status of the working programme, reported the number of cities in good standing and announced that the OWHC exhibition will be available for all member cities, who want to show it. Also Denis Ricard made important announcements referring to the upcoming election of the board and the Conference in Oaxaca in 2013. Some of the participants used the Delegate´s Meeting for giving a first feedback about the conference, the exhibition and the OWHC brochure.