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PhD ceremony Ms. W. Hornis: Multiplicities. Het ommeland in meervoud

When:Th 12-09-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Ms. W. Hornis, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Multiplicities. Het ommeland in meervoud

Promotor(s): prof. P.P.P. Huigen

Faculty: Spatial Sciences

Historically, the peri-urban area, the area surrounding cities, depends on the city for services and employment. Does this position change with scale enlargement and the emergence of urban networks? This question formed the point of departure for an investigation of the position of peri-urban areas in the Netherlands, the developments therein, and any differences between them around the country.

The socio-spatial position of the peri-urban area was analyzed on the basis of both the location patterns of land-use functions and the relations that develop between such locations. One way of investigating the peri-urban area in more depth was to zoom in on the daily time-space budgets of those households that are so characteristic of the peri-urban area: multiple-person households with children. Finally, the study investigated how the peri-urban area is treated in the national spatial policy.

It proves that the peri-urban area is no longer necessarily subservient to the city. There are, moreover, differences between peri-urban areas. Cities are still dominant in many places because of their absolute size, but network cities and overlapping city regions are also emerging.

In some parts of the Netherlands network cities and polycentric urban structures are emerging, especially where there are multiple cities in relative close proximity to each other or because of the development of new (sub or edge) cities, e.g. in the Randstad Holland or South Limburg.

At the household level, the patterns of activity are even more complex. From a dwelling in the peri-urban area, a household makes use of multiple places in the urban network.

Spatial policy should take the potential of places within the urban network as the starting point instead of taking a monocentric and concentric approach to the city and the peri-urban area. An important aspect of that starting point is to take the perspective of households into account as well as the possibilities and restrictions they encounter.

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