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A Glass Half Empty or Half Full? On the Perceived Gap between Urban Geography Research and Dutch Urban Restructuring Policy


  • Reinout Kleinhans


The Dutch urban restructuring policy, initiated in 1997, has generated much urban geography research. As with so many other fields, the associated debate has witnessed the perception of a gap between policy and research among both researchers and policymakers. Using four examples, this paper argues that this perception of a gap fails to reflect properly what is happening in the interchange between research and policy. Drawing on a broader typology of the use of research in policy-making (Stevens, 2007), the paper shows that the relationship is more complex and critically highlights the role of researchers herein. Moreover, ignoring or ‘cherry-picking’ of research by policymakers does not necessarily reflect a lack of relevance, which is a fundamental discussion within current geography research. The four discussed examples are: ambivalent outcomes of relocation research, the selection of renewal target areas, potential negative spillover effects on other areas, and the stubbornness of the concept of social cohesion in policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Reinout Kleinhans, 2012. "A Glass Half Empty or Half Full? On the Perceived Gap between Urban Geography Research and Dutch Urban Restructuring Policy," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 299-314, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:12:y:2012:i:3:p:299-314
    DOI: 10.1080/14616718.2012.709669

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    1. Kleinhans, Reinout & Veldboer, Lex & Jansen, Sylvia & van Ham, Maarten, 2014. "Ageing in a Long-term Regeneration Neighbourhood: A Disruptive Experience or Successful Ageing in Place?," IZA Discussion Papers 8660, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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