Creative management

Hein Koningen

Things are not all as easily understood and expressed in words as one is often led to believe. Most events cannot be expressed in words at all; they occur in a space that has never been entered by any word. Even more difficult to express in words than everything else are works of art— those mysterious forms of existence that go on living whilst our lives perish.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1903)

Design and management—integral process direction


In the naturalistic parks or ‘heemparks’ of Amstelveen (the Netherlands), ecology and design have been going hand-in-hand ever since the 1930s (Figure 10.1). The approach that is required to accomplish this has been found to differ greatly from the traditions of conventional design and management. Practice in Amstelveen illustrates a number of essential principles of what may be called an integral approach to design and management. Ecology and design, spontaneous process and human intervention are inextricably linked and are complementary. The time seems ripe to propose a

Creative management


Woodland, wetland and grass habitats are used in the naturalistic ‘heempark’ of Amstelveen, the Netherlands, to create rich pictorial impression

(a) A ribbon of Caltha palustris along a lake edge

(b) Wetland and wet meadow amongst housing

(c) A dramatic underplanting of Primula elatior amongst young birch

(d) Another young birch plantation

(e) Wet meadow vegetation

complement to existing design traditions, which are typically rather abstract and linear in nature. This can be accomplished by giving more attention, especially in landscape design and horticultural practice, to the development of a flexible, integral management process founded on tried and tested practical experience in the field. In this tradition, the disciplines of design and management, often rigidly separated, are organically united.