The disputable role of the built environment in liveability

N Nieboer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


    In areas where restructuring activities in the housing stock are planned or are already taking place, the objectives of these interventions are not only related to physical aspects such as technical condition and dwelling size, but also to essentially non-physical aspects such as social integration, `liveability¿ and sustainability. Restructuring is expected to contribute to more agreeable neighbourhoods, not only in the physical sense (better dwellings etc.), but also in the social and the economic sense (crime, social cohesion, employment etc.). As in many European countries, housing is seen to play a vital role in trying to solve the social problems of the modern city. But to what extent are these expectations realistic? Seen as a form of urban renewal, restructuring is not new per se, but has been preceded by many housing improvement schemes in the past. In the last decades, many studies have been carried out about the effects of the physical environment on non-physical issues concerning the respective neighbourhoods and their inhabitants. Although these studies may give different and even contradictory answers about the strength and the nature of this relationship, we expect to find useful information in literature about the non-physical effects of large-scale housing improvement schemes. The present restructuring in the Netherlands mainly concerns the housing stock built in the years 1945-1965, so in the first two decades after the Second World War. In this kind of restructuring, a lot of attention is paid to income diversification on the neighbourhood level. In Dutch government policy (and also that of several other European countries) income diversification is regarded as a key instrument to improve the liveability and sustainability of deprived neighbourhoods. This paper presents an overview of research in this field to assess these expectations. In addition, we present a more general review of the literature on the relationship between the built environment and the liveability of neighbourhoods.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Title of host publicationHousing in Europe: new challenges & innovations in tomorrow's cities
    EditorsJR Sveinsson
    Place of PublicationReykjavik
    PublisherUniveristy of Iceland, The Urban Studies Institute
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Publication series

    PublisherUniveristy of Iceland, The Urban Studies Institute


    • Conf.proc. > 3 pag

    Cite this