Changing Governance Processes to Make Way for Civic Involvement: The Case of Gebrookerbos in Heerlen, Netherlands

  • The effects of shrinkage can be manifold. Vacant green areas are a typical manifestation of shrinkage in deindustrialized cities, such as Heerlen, Netherlands. Such challenges are usually managed by the municipality which, due to financial reasons, often has to turn to citizens to aid in accommodating those effects. The example of Gebrookerbos in Heerlen shows how an adaptation of governance processes can take place in order to facilitate the involvement of citizens in reusing vacant spaces. The introduction of the position of account manager as well as brooker are being regarded as essential for shortening the distance between municipality and citizens as well as contributing to replacing the mistrust towards the municipality, which is in line with existing research on depopulating areas. Further, making a plethora of funding options and projects available for civic initiatives ensures the longevity of civic involvement. Finally, the findings show how working on the “hardware”, the visible vacancy and deterioration of the land—by adapting the “software”, the institutional set up and focusing on civic empowerment—of a shrinking city can go hand in hand.
Author:Agnes MatogaORCiD
Parent Title (English):Sustainability
Document Type:Article
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2022/08/15
Year of Publication:2022
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Date of the Publication (Server):2022/10/04
Tag:governance; experimental governance; shrinking cities; civic involvement
Issue:2022, 14, 10126
Number of page:16
Faculties / Organisational entities:Kaiserslautern - Fachbereich ARUBI
DDC-Cassification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 300 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie, Anthropologie
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung (CC BY 4.0)