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Community crushed between sustainability and mass tourism | Upload General

Crushed Between Sustainability And Mass Tourism

by: Sharai Hoekema
crushed between sustainability and mass tourism | Upload

Zandvoort is crushed between sustainability and mass tourism. A place in the Netherlands that you might be familiar with for several reasons. One, its racetrack that has just been re-added to the Formula 1 schedule, the Mecca of motorsports. Two, the beaches that gave it its official monicker of Amsterdam Beach. And three, the excessive controversy that it generates over a wide range of topics, including deer, wind turbines, and sand lizards.

Crushed Interests Between Locals And Mass tourism: Deer Controversy

Yours honestly had the pleasure of experiencing some of this commotion that frequently rocks this community of 17.000 people. Just last year, I was commissioned by the municipality to write an article on the ‘deer plague.’ Deer have been roaming the streets of the town for quite some time, an easy day trip for them from the neighboring Waterleidingduinen dunes. They especially enjoy the wealth of tasty flowers in residents’ front yards and the plates left out for them by some elderly citizens. Tourists enjoy the view and will gladly proffer all sorts of unsuitable foods for the animals to eat, just to get their selfie in.

Deer, houses, Zandvoort

Recommended: UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide

Long story short, the story never ran. The ‘pro’ side thought my article, discussing the dangers of feeding the deer, was an exaggeration and suggested that the deer are best kept out of the town center altogether. (To be fair, they probably are - deer-car collisions are an everyday event.) The ‘con’ side criticized the lack of punitive measures against those who dare to feed the deer, something that should have - obviously - been highlighted in the article.

What is the history of Zandvoort?
Zandvoort is known to exist in 1100, called Sandevoerde, meaning ford; compare English Sandford). Until 1722 the area was under the control of the Lords of Brederode. The village was dependent on fishing for many centuries until the 19th century when it started to transform itself into a seaside resort.

Crushed Between Formula 1 Rocking And The Community

Neither party was willing to put their name behind it, and thus, the article - aptly titled ‘Loitering Obese Deer: Stop The Feeding’ - died a silent death. It is characteristic of how the town never quite seems to agree on anything. Winning the Formula 1 bid was a dream come true for many, especially those who treasure fond memories of the times that the likes of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda graced the asphalt. 

race-car, red bull, tribune, people, grass

What has Zandvoort to offer?
Zandvoort is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It is one of the major beach resorts of the Netherlands; it has a long sandy beach, bordered by coastal dunes. It is also the site of the country's most important auto racing circuit, Circuit Zandvoort.

At the same time, environmental movements jumped in to proclaim their disapproval. The government surely did not consider the emissions? The impact that the sound would have on the animals living in nearby National Parks? How would the planned expansions of the racetrack destroy the habitat of the sand lizard? As we speak, they are probably still somewhere tied up in court, feebly objecting against a done deal that is sure to draw many thousands to the coastal town just west of Amsterdam. Zandvoort was crushed between sustainability and mass tourism.

Hamilton, people circuit Zandvoort

Recommended: China Will Lead Electric Car Revolution: FIA E-Grand Prix

Wind Farm: Sustainability Or Horizon Pollution

Just a few years before, a similar bout of controversy hit the streets when energy provider Eneco revealed plans to build a wind farm in the sea, only some 23 kilometers from the shore. These monsters would surely ruin the views and generate all sorts of problems. The fact that these windmills would provide a generous amount of renewable energy was easily overlooked. When having to choose between having a good view or getting more clean energy sources, some would undoubtedly prefer the former.


                                                          Animatie van transport- en installatieschip Aeolus


Once again, it is typical for a beach town that has found itself torn between sustainability and tourism. On the one hand, attracting visitors has always taken the lead - with the dunes and the sea, along with many motorsports events, it has drawn quite a few holidaymakers. These very same tourists are, however, polluting and damaging the environment.  

man, yellow indturbine

National Park Wants Sustainable Tourism Not Mass Tourism

National Park ‘Zuid Kennemerland’ that is bordering Zandvoort is feeling the stress, with visitors often leaving the designated paths to explore or chase after the local fauna. The litter they leave behind, along with the vegetation they accidentally destroy, has left its traces on the precious landscape. This is why the park directors have recently presented their plan for ‘sustainable tourism’ in the area.

people, lane mower, gras, golf

Recommended: Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars

They presented their vision in a 30-page document that highlights how growing tourism and recreation in the area can go hand in hand with protection, preservation, and perception of the vulnerable natural heritage. This is done through extensive zoning, with dedicated spaces for walking, bird spotting, biking, boating, or other recreational activities. 

man, sand path, trees

What is special about one of its beaches?
There is a nudist beach located about 2 km to the south, with 6 cafés or restaurants; it extends several kilometres further south.

The paths will be indicated more. Clearly, sufficient trashcans will be provided, and the area will be patrolled regularly by forest rangers. Through extensive marketing campaigns, both visitors and residents will be made aware of the rules and, if possible, involved in the process of protecting nature. Tapping into the community at large to help preserve the precious area is a risky, albeit potentially rewarding way of creating a more sustainable park. The critical reader, however, will quickly notice that real, binding commitments are sorely missing.

Hosting A Sustainable Grand Prix

In a similar move, the racetrack has vaguely promised to not only be a polluter and disruptor to the environment. The government has claimed that the current expansion will benefit nature. It will make it harder, if not impossible, for race fans to access the dune area surrounding the track. In the past, visitors have spread out over the terrain in an attempt to find front-row seats in the dunes, something that will now no longer be possible. It makes it almost easy to forget that the affected dune area will take at least 10 to 15 years to recover from the damage done.

Zandvoort circuit

How developed Zandvoort after WW2
After the war, the town's growth accelerated, matching the growth in tourism. In 1948, Circuit Zandvoort was built, hosting the Dutch Grand Prix for several decades, until 1985. The Dutch GP will return in 2020, in the 2020 Formula One World Championship

The lawsuit that the city faced, initiated by organizations worrying about the fate of - most notably - the sand lizard, revealed that all possible efforts were taken to remove all animals and transport them to a safer place. Other lawsuits that were protesting against the noise and pollution caused by traffic highlighted that the city is trying to get visitors to come by train or bike, for which they have pledged to improve train operations and increase the number of beds available in the surrounding area.

Crushed Between Sustainability And Tourism

All in all, Zandvoort has set its sights on hosting the ‘greenest Formula 1 race’, casually mentioning initiatives like local sourcing and planting trees to compensate for emissions. Yet it seems reasonably non-committal as well. It almost appears as if the plans were written by the same committee that was responsible for the National Park’s vision. Or the promotion sheet of the windmill parks just offshore.

I present you Zandvoort, a town inherently trapped between sustainability and tourism.

Before you go!

Recommended: Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope?

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Crushed Between Sustainability And Mass Tourism

Zandvoort is crushed between sustainability and mass tourism. A place in the Netherlands that you might be familiar with for several reasons. One, its racetrack that has just been re-added to the Formula 1 schedule, the Mecca of motorsports. Two, the beaches that gave it its official monicker of Amsterdam Beach. And three, the excessive controversy that it generates over a wide range of topics, including deer, wind turbines, and sand lizards. Crushed Interests Between Locals And Mass tourism: Deer Controversy Yours honestly had the pleasure of experiencing some of this commotion that frequently rocks this community of 17.000 people. Just last year, I was commissioned by the municipality to write an article on the ‘deer plague.’ Deer have been roaming the streets of the town for quite some time, an easy day trip for them from the neighboring Waterleidingduinen dunes. They especially enjoy the wealth of tasty flowers in residents’ front yards and the plates left out for them by some elderly citizens. Tourists enjoy the view and will gladly proffer all sorts of unsuitable foods for the animals to eat, just to get their selfie in. Recommended:  UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide Long story short, the story never ran. The ‘pro’ side thought my article, discussing the dangers of feeding the deer, was an exaggeration and suggested that the deer are best kept out of the town center altogether. (To be fair, they probably are - deer-car collisions are an everyday event.) The ‘con’ side criticized the lack of punitive measures against those who dare to feed the deer, something that should have - obviously - been highlighted in the article. What is the history of Zandvoort? Zandvoort is known to exist in 1100, called Sandevoerde, meaning ford; compare English Sandford). Until 1722 the area was under the control of the Lords of Brederode. The village was dependent on fishing for many centuries until the 19th century when it started to transform itself into a seaside resort. Crushed Between Formula 1 Rocking And The Community Neither party was willing to put their name behind it, and thus, the article - aptly titled ‘Loitering Obese Deer: Stop The Feeding’ - died a silent death. It is characteristic of how the town never quite seems to agree on anything. Winning the Formula 1 bid was a dream come true for many, especially those who treasure fond memories of the times that the likes of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda graced the asphalt.   What has Zandvoort to offer? Zandvoort is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It is one of the major beach resorts of the Netherlands; it has a long sandy beach, bordered by coastal dunes. It is also the site of the country's most important auto racing circuit, Circuit Zandvoort. At the same time, environmental movements jumped in to proclaim their disapproval. The government surely did not consider the emissions? The impact that the sound would have on the animals living in nearby National Parks? How would the planned expansions of the racetrack destroy the habitat of the sand lizard? As we speak, they are probably still somewhere tied up in court, feebly objecting against a done deal that is sure to draw many thousands to the coastal town just west of Amsterdam. Zandvoort was crushed between sustainability and mass tourism. Recommended:  China Will Lead Electric Car Revolution: FIA E-Grand Prix Wind Farm: Sustainability Or Horizon Pollution Just a few years before, a similar bout of controversy hit the streets when energy provider Eneco revealed plans to build a wind farm in the sea, only some 23 kilometers from the shore. These monsters would surely ruin the views and generate all sorts of problems. The fact that these windmills would provide a generous amount of renewable energy was easily overlooked. When having to choose between having a good view or getting more clean energy sources, some would undoubtedly prefer the former. {youtube}                                                           Animatie van transport- en installatieschip Aeolus Once again, it is typical for a beach town that has found itself torn between sustainability and tourism. On the one hand, attracting visitors has always taken the lead - with the dunes and the sea, along with many motorsports events, it has drawn quite a few holidaymakers. These very same tourists are, however, polluting and damaging the environment.    National Park Wants Sustainable Tourism Not Mass Tourism National Park ‘Zuid Kennemerland’ that is bordering Zandvoort is feeling the stress, with visitors often leaving the designated paths to explore or chase after the local fauna. The litter they leave behind, along with the vegetation they accidentally destroy, has left its traces on the precious landscape. This is why the park directors have recently presented their plan for ‘sustainable tourism’ in the area. Recommended:  Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars They presented their vision in a 30-page document that highlights how growing tourism and recreation in the area can go hand in hand with protection, preservation, and perception of the vulnerable natural heritage. This is done through extensive zoning, with dedicated spaces for walking, bird spotting, biking, boating, or other recreational activities.   What is special about one of its beaches? There is a nudist beach located about 2 km to the south, with 6 cafés or restaurants; it extends several kilometres further south. The paths will be indicated more. Clearly, sufficient trashcans will be provided, and the area will be patrolled regularly by forest rangers. Through extensive marketing campaigns, both visitors and residents will be made aware of the rules and, if possible, involved in the process of protecting nature. Tapping into the community at large to help preserve the precious area is a risky, albeit potentially rewarding way of creating a more sustainable park. The critical reader, however, will quickly notice that real, binding commitments are sorely missing. Hosting A Sustainable Grand Prix In a similar move, the racetrack has vaguely promised to not only be a polluter and disruptor to the environment. The government has claimed that the current expansion will benefit nature. It will make it harder, if not impossible, for race fans to access the dune area surrounding the track. In the past, visitors have spread out over the terrain in an attempt to find front-row seats in the dunes, something that will now no longer be possible. It makes it almost easy to forget that the affected dune area will take at least 10 to 15 years to recover from the damage done. How developed Zandvoort after WW2 After the war, the town's growth accelerated, matching the growth in tourism. In 1948, Circuit Zandvoort was built, hosting the Dutch Grand Prix for several decades, until 1985. The Dutch GP will return in 2020, in the 2020 Formula One World Championship The lawsuit that the city faced, initiated by organizations worrying about the fate of - most notably - the sand lizard, revealed that all possible efforts were taken to remove all animals and transport them to a safer place. Other lawsuits that were protesting against the noise and pollution caused by traffic highlighted that the city is trying to get visitors to come by train or bike, for which they have pledged to improve train operations and increase the number of beds available in the surrounding area. Crushed Between Sustainability And Tourism All in all, Zandvoort has set its sights on hosting the ‘greenest Formula 1 race’, casually mentioning initiatives like local sourcing and planting trees to compensate for emissions. Yet it seems reasonably non-committal as well. It almost appears as if the plans were written by the same committee that was responsible for the National Park’s vision. Or the promotion sheet of the windmill parks just offshore. I present you Zandvoort, a town inherently trapped between sustainability and tourism. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about the environment in your area? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
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