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Electrifying Overmere: the establishing of the Belgian utility systems in a perspective of urbanisation

Author
Organization
Project
Modular Patterns in the Horizontal Metropolis (BOF-project)
Abstract
My poster presents the history of the electrification of Overmere from 1900 until the end of the 1920s. At that time Overmere was nothing but a typical, small village in rural Flanders. Yet the history of its power grid makes it possible to reflect on the historical urbanisation process of Flanders and the region’s contemporary urban condition. In establishing and developing the electricity network in Overmere many different actors were involved and each of them operated according to a particular conception of the region, relying on different landscape imaginaries, based on the motives, scale, topologies, etc and specific to that actor. The network can be interpreted as the hybrid result of, or the precarious balance found between different strategies of territorialisation. This balance is not only visible in the physical construction and expansion of the network, but also left its traces in the cultural habits that in time came to surround the network and determined the various ways in which it would come to be embedded in everyday life. Retracing the history of such a dynamic balance, with respect for its aspects of contingency and co-evolution, sheds a light on the different deep-seated landscape imaginaries and varying territorialisations at play in Flanders and the processes of urbanisation in weakly-integrated urban areas such as Flanders.
Keywords
utility system, territorialisation, electricity supply, urban question, collective consumption

Citation

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Chicago
Bruggeman, Dieter. 2014. “Electrifying Overmere: The Establishing of the Belgian Utility Systems in a Perspective of Urbanisation.” In 15th FEA Research Symposium, Abstracts, ed. Jelle Laverge, Femke De Backere, Nele De Geeter, Thierry De Meyer, Filip De Turck, Stijn Derammelaere, Luc Dupré, et al., 25–25. Ghent, Belgium: Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University.
APA
Bruggeman, Dieter. (2014). Electrifying Overmere: the establishing of the Belgian utility systems in a perspective of urbanisation. In J. Laverge, F. De Backere, N. De Geeter, T. De Meyer, F. De Turck, S. Derammelaere, L. Dupré, et al. (Eds.), 15th FEA Research Symposium, Abstracts (pp. 25–25). Presented at the 15th FEA Research Symposium, Ghent, Belgium: Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University.
Vancouver
1.
Bruggeman D. Electrifying Overmere: the establishing of the Belgian utility systems in a perspective of urbanisation. In: Laverge J, De Backere F, De Geeter N, De Meyer T, De Turck F, Derammelaere S, et al., editors. 15th FEA Research Symposium, Abstracts. Ghent, Belgium: Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University; 2014. p. 25–25.
MLA
Bruggeman, Dieter. “Electrifying Overmere: The Establishing of the Belgian Utility Systems in a Perspective of Urbanisation.” 15th FEA Research Symposium, Abstracts. Ed. Jelle Laverge et al. Ghent, Belgium: Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, 2014. 25–25. Print.
@inproceedings{5842707,
  abstract     = {My poster presents the history of the electrification of Overmere from 1900 until the end of the 1920s. At that time Overmere was nothing but a typical, small village in rural Flanders. Yet the history of its power grid makes it possible to reflect on the historical urbanisation process of Flanders and the region{\textquoteright}s contemporary urban condition.
In establishing and developing the electricity network in Overmere many different actors were involved and each of them operated according to a particular conception of the region, relying on different landscape imaginaries, based on the motives, scale, topologies, etc and specific to that actor. The network can be interpreted as the hybrid result of, or the precarious balance found between different strategies of territorialisation. This balance is not only visible in the physical construction and expansion of the network, but also left its traces in the cultural habits that in time came to surround the network and determined the various ways in which it would come to be embedded in everyday life. Retracing the history of such a dynamic balance, with respect for its aspects of contingency and co-evolution, sheds a light on the different deep-seated landscape imaginaries and varying territorialisations at play in Flanders and the processes of urbanisation in weakly-integrated urban areas such as Flanders.},
  author       = {Bruggeman, Dieter},
  booktitle    = {15th FEA Research Symposium, Abstracts},
  editor       = {Laverge, Jelle and De Backere, Femke and De Geeter, Nele and De Meyer, Thierry and De Turck, Filip and Derammelaere, Stijn and Dupr{\'e}, Luc and Houwen, Simon and Hristoskova, Anna and Ongenae, Femke and Toch, Kenneth and Van de Walle, Rik and Van der Borght, Kristof and Veldeman, Leen and Verbeek, Thomas},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Ghent, Belgium},
  pages        = {25--25},
  publisher    = {Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University},
  title        = {Electrifying Overmere: the establishing of the Belgian utility systems in a perspective of urbanisation},
  year         = {2014},
}