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Christiaan Hanse: The relevance of in-between: repositioning the role of the urban and peri-urban of the Dutch Flanders region into the larger transition of the Scheldt Delta

Location: Dutch Flanders, Netherlands
Mentors: Rodrigo Cardoso, Alex Wandl
Keywords: Regional decline, Dutch Flanders, Scheldt Delta, regional development, regional strategies, regions in transition, regional governance

The region of Dutch Flanders is facing several challenges related to regional imbalances and perception of decline. It is located in between the Scheldt river estuary and the region of Flanders in Belgium which is providing unique opportunities, but also causing frictions and risk. Its peri-urban and urban areas under pressure are located in between the large scale activities in industry, agriculture and port logistics. These large-scale activities have multiscalar relations, connections and forms of cooperation to which the urban and peri-urban do not seem to be as well connected to. At the same time, the larger functional region of the Scheldt Delta is in need of transition because of economic, environmental and technological changes. The in-between areas could benefit by repositioning their economic, social and environmental role into the larger functional transition of the Scheldt Delta. This study develops a strategy for improving the cross-border relations and opportunities to guide the transition of the Scheldt Delta region.

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