|- URBAN MANAGEMENT, EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT – THE ‘GOUDA’ CONNECTION 333 kb|
|by Heyning, Helena C.M. | email@example.com |
|The field of urban management, renewal and empowerment may appear diffuse and subjective, yet is essential for better and healthier living conditions in The Netherlands. Good urban management contributes to the well-being of people and to the quality of life: a healthy region needs vitality of its cities, and vice versa.|
Management, and specifically urban management, can be viewed as a systematic set of measures to prevent the deterioration of (urban) areas in the Netherlands. Two strategic urban management or neighbourhood development projects in age-old Gouda (AD 1272) are discussed in this paper
|- Urban management in The Netherlands: sticks and carrots|
At the central government level in the Netherlands, there are various safety valves that ensure that municipality councils, which operate relatively autonomously, take adequate action to prevent increasing inequality within their region. Such measures could be financial, e.g. subsidies, legislative, or consist of special status allocation, for instance pilot status or being placed under financial supervision. Management, and specifically urban management, can be viewed within that context as a systematic set of measures to prevent the deterioration of (urban) areas in the Netherlands.
In 1995, the Dutch central government put in place a set of policies that specifically targets urban renewal in the larger cities. The objective of these policies is to preserve the cities as dynamic and safe places that are appealing to live in. Increasing problems associated with large urban areas demanded a joint effort of public and private stakeholders. Urban renewal management differs from traditional urban regeneration in its holistic approach. Integral to urban renewal is that it does not focus solely on physical problems, but also targets social and economic issues.
The Dutch Central Government made a covenant with the 25 largest cities to finance single objective projects during the time period of 1995-1999, and to finance longer-term multi-objective programmes during the period 1999-2004.
Although Gouda is not one of those largest 25 cities in the Netherlands, it shares many similar problems.
- The ‘Gouda’ Connection
Gouda is one of the oldest and most prominent cities in the Netherlands (AD 1272). It is situated in the centre of the green region in the largest Dutch conurbation (Randstad or Green Heart Metropolis). It is also part of the so-called Dutch ‘bible belt’. Famous for its cheese, Gouda has in the last decades become associated with being a problem city. For the last 40 years, the local government has been placed under financial supervision of the central government. Goudas financial problems are caused by a poor substrate, ill-advised budget allocation during the 60s and 70s, and a lack of possibilities for development and construction outside the city boundaries (at the moment, construction is restricted to 10 to 30 houses per year). Furthermore, it was not in a position to redevelop brown field sites within the mediaeval city boundaries when the economic climate would have been sufficiently encouraging. Finally, there are problems in Gouda associated with a large ethnic population.
Gouda wants to boost its image. Therefore, the Gouda central government has instigated a City Vision Plan (2000), a City Vision Action Programme (STAP 2001-2004) and a multi-annual programme of urban regeneration (ISV 2000-2005), as well as multiple strategic projects. Two of these strategic projects are the neighbourhood development or urban management of the Gouda Oost and Korte Akkeren neighbourhoods, discussed in this paper.
Urban development encompasses much more than simply ‘building (for) a better neighbourhood’. Its approach to improvements to a neighbourhood is based on three pillars: social, economic and physical. In other words, social and economic empowerment is integrated with physical measures. Gouda has added two more pillars added to this approach: communication and participation. After all, it is vital that a contribution is made at the grassroots level, and that the population in these areas is actively involved in boosting their neighbourhood’s and their own opportunities. No local government can do such a job by itself, and ‘an inhabitant who is involved will care’. The important sixth pillar is of course financial.
The field of urban management, renewal and empowerment may appear diffuse and subjective, yet is essential for better and healthier living conditions in our Low Countries by the sea. Good urban management contributes to the well-being of people and to the quality of life. A healthy region needs vitality of its cities, and vice versa.
|Holistic approach of empowerment and urban development based on six ‘pillars’: social / economy / physical /communication / participation / finances|
Case Study presented on the ISOCARP Congress 2004: Management of Urban Regions
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