- The National Urban-Growth Coalition in the Netherlands.
- Political Geography
- Volume | Issue number
- 14 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Many American social scientists use the concept of 'urban growth coalition' which indicates that 'locally dependent' business elites, local state officials and, sometimes, labour unions form a territorially based coalition in order to revitalize cities in decay or to promote urban growth. Although federal government and the state do play a role in city-development policies, it is fair to say that since the late 1970s urban growth coalitions in the USA have mainly been based on local business firms and local political institutions. Particularly since the Reagan administration there is a tendency to mobilize resources locally rather than relying on federal and state resources. In this paper we want to contrast the US 'model' of city-development policy with the Dutch one, and argue for a 'national urban growth coalition' in The Netherlands. Since the second half of the 1980s large cities, the central state, several national institutions like transportation, trade and agricultural capital, pension funds, and the environmentalists have joined hands in order to promote central-city growth. The explanation for the emergence of the 'national urban growth coalition' in The Netherlands is to be found in a variety of Dutch historical and geographical contingencies that are interrelated: a small country, specialized in agriculture, transport and trade, characterized by corporatism, pillarization, a very well-developed welfare state, an extreme fiscal centralization, one constituency and a concomitant political culture of cooperation and consensus seeking.
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