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All Nieuwelande citizens involved

Drenthe municipality Hoogeveen wins prestigeous international prize

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

NIAGARA, Ontario - The Dutch municipality of Hoogeveen received one of the top International Awards for Liveable Communities 2004. The venue of the presentation was the annual meeting of the LivCom Awards, held recently in Niagara.

Hoogeveen won first prize for its development plan of the village of Nieuwelande, which is located in the rural part of the Drenthe municipality. The entry was in the category Community Involvement.

According to the criteria of the annual worldwide competition launched in 1997, this section "should demonstrate the extent of community involvement, in the context of its cultural environment in the practical maintenance, management and planning of aspects of the local environment. This includes the business sector, individual volunteers and the community as a whole."

The jury, in awarding the prize, lauded the manner in which Hoogeveen involved Nieuwelande's population in the entire project, in part by asking everyone what they wanted changed in their community. Nieuwelande is a community of 1,300 people, which earlier also collectively earned lasting gratitude for its war-time stance when the great majority of local families took in strangers on the run from the Nazis. Nieuwlande as a community was bestowed the international Yad Vashem Award in the 1960s.