- Urban shrinkage in Parkstad Limburg
- European Planning Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 23 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Once a flourishing mining area, Parkstad Limburg in the south of the Netherlands is now facing limited economic vitality and structural changes in its demographic composition. In a process of selective migration, young and highly educated people tend to move out of the region, while elderly and less- educated people stay. Shrinkage in Parkstad Limburg has resulted in a declining basis for economic activity, an unbalanced housing market, and policy responses in order to deal with these phenomena. Unfortunately acceptance of the phenomenon is a difficult step and a time-consuming process. While after years of denial most politicians and policy-makers in Parkstad Limburg have finally accepted the decline, the inhabitants of the region have to be confronted with inconvenient decisions like demolishing houses and the closure of public facilities. Based on the findings in Parkstad Limburg, it is concluded that a suitable policy response consists of the acceptance of shrinkage, developing a long-term vision, engaging the inhabitants in the process, restructuring the housing market, and fostering intensive regional collaboration.
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