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Jaar 2008 x
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De ruimtelijke gevolgen van demografische krimp

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2008
Auteurs Frank van Dam, Femke Verwest en Carola de Groot
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the near future a growing number of Dutch regions and municipalities will experience a decline in population and household numbers. However, compared with other countries, the impending population shrinkage in the Netherlands will be modest, if not insignificant. The spatial consequences of this demographic decline will be limited. Other factors, such as economic growth, behavioural change and spatial planning policy, will have a more important influence on spatial development. The fixation on population numbers in both the public debate about demographic decline and in policy-making is therefore misplaced and futile. Insofar as demographic trends already have an influence on spatial developments, it is primarily through changes in household numbers and population composition, for example in relation to housing needs. This does not mean that demographic decline will not raise issues pertinent to spatial development policy. In municipalities and regions, falling household numbers may push up housing vacancy rates and exacerbate segregation, leading to a reduction in the quality of the living environment. These negative consequences will be concentrated in specific districts, neighbourhoods and villages. Demographic decline is not only a threat; it also presents opportunities. In regions currently suffering from serious housing shortages, a shrinking number of households will relieve pressure on the housing market. In addition, contraction of local and regional populations will open up opportunities for reducing densities and 'greening' these neighbourhoods. When anticipating or responding to demographic decline, local and regional governments mainly adopt a strategy of improving the quality of the housing stock and stimulating employment. In both cases, there is a danger of competition between local authorities (or regions and provinces), which may lead to uneconomic spatial investments and irreversible spatial developments.


Frank van Dam
Frank van Dam is als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL). Correspondentiegegevens: Dr. F. van Dam Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving Oranjebuitensingel 6 / Postbus 30314 2511 VE Den Haag / 2500 GH Den Haag 070-3288798 frank.vandam@pbl.nl

Femke Verwest
Femke Verwest is als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL).

Carola de Groot
Carola de Groot is als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL).
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