- Regional Area Development in the Netherlands: new tools for a new type of projects    click here to open paper content451 kb
by    Spaans, Marjolein | m.spaans@tudelft.nl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The Netherlands faces a growing number of regional area development projects and a new Spatial Planning Act. This paper elaborates on how such a project is implemented under current legislation and how it would have come about under new legislation.
In the Netherlands there is an increasing number of area development projects targeted at the regional level. Examples are the Blue City (Blauwe Stad), Lake City (Meerstad) and Wieringen Lake Area (Wieringerrandmeer). One of the policy focus areas of the National Spatial Strategy is comprehensive area development at the regional level in which all the stakeholders participate. This focus purposely creates scope for innovative area-based models. The appropriate tools to flesh out this policy will also be anchored in the new Spatial Planning Act (implemented in 2008) and in new land policy instruments.
This paper elaborates on how one of these regional area development projects is implemented under current legislation and planning and land policy instruments. It will then shed light on how such a project will come about after that new legislation, instruments and government responsibilities will be in place.
The Blue City project was initiated to stimulate the regional economy by developing an attractive living and working environment through the creation of a lake and surrounding nature and leisure facilities. While agriculture is declining in importance, other sources of income are sought to revitalise this region. The site covers some 1500 hectares in three municipalities in the upper north of the Netherlands. Agricultural land was sacrificed in order to create a large new lake. While usually local authorities take the lead in the implementation of such developments, in this case it is the Province that has been the crucial actor throughout the period. A new approach had to be elaborated to meet a new type of projects.
regional area development; new legislation
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