Urban Restructuring, Demolition, and Displacement in the Netherlands: Uncovering the Janus Head of Forced Residential Relocation

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Abstract

The Netherlands is internationally known for its relatively large social rented housing stock. Since the policy genesis of urban renewal (Stedelijke Vernieuwing) in 1997, urban restructuring has gained traction, especially in the early postwar neighborhoods. With demolition and new housing construction as key instruments of restructuring, the relocation of tenants has been a key topic in the scientific and policy debate about the implications of urban restructuring. The debate on neighborhood impacts of forced relocation has been inspired by a conceptual framework of gentrification, social mix, and social cohesion, whereas relocation outcomes for individual tenants have been mostly negatively framed in terms of displacement and altered place attachment. Especially among European and American scholars, there has been particular disagreement about the extent to which “forced relocation” (a neutral term, as will be argued) is inherently a harmful experience or whether only particular outcomes of relocation can be defined as such. This chapter discusses state-of-the-art knowledge to explore forced relocation outcomes in the Netherlands and how they are related to the broader scientific debate on forced relocation and displacement. The discussion on neighborhood impacts of forced relocation has focused on concepts such as social mix and social cohesion (e.g., Uitermark 2003), whereas relocation outcomes for individual tenants have been framed in terms of displacement and (altered) place attachment (Kleinhans and Kearns 2013). This chapter focuses on the latter strand of outcomes and identifies the Janus head of forced residential relocation, in the sense that the process and outcomes show different and sometimes highly contradictory faces with regard to several manifestations of the process and perceived outcomes in the Netherlands. To a certain extent, counseling approaches mitigate the negative impact on the well-being of relocatees. The Dutch experience with forced relocation provides a counter-narrative to the typical negative American gentrification/urban renewal narrative. The chapter concludes with policy recommendations for neighborhood revitalization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Housing Policy and Planning
EditorsKatrin B. Anacker, Mai Thi Nguyen, David P. Varady
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
Chapter23
Pages317-329
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315642338
ISBN (Print)9781138188433
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository
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Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.

Keywords

  • Built Environment
  • Geography
  • Social Sciences
  • Urban Studies

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