Within the European Union there are a number of different approaches taken when tackling the regeneration of areas with multiple deprivation. This paper examines some of the effects that the urban restructuring approach used in the Netherlands has had on some of the residents of a large housing estate on the outskirts of Amsterdam known as Bijlmermeer or the Bijlmer. Within this area of multiple social and economic disadvantages, black and ethnic groups form the majority of the population. This paper is based on observations obtained from semi-structured interviews and discussions with local residents, project officials and relevant academics, and a number of Human Geography field trips to the area. Some of the early findings suggest that the transformation of this area from a failed Utopian vision into a thriving and successful multi-cultural built-environment is based on dispersing some of the most socially and economically excluded residents from the area via demolition, renovation and rebuild programmes. This in turn supports the work of other researchers in suggesting that the theory of urban restructuring has been adopted as a policy not to promote social cohesion but as a policy to prevent ethnic resistance.
|Global Built Environment Review
|Published - 2003