Closing schools in depopulating areas always leads to vehement protests. That’s wrong, says depopulation expert Tialda Haartsen of the University of Groningen. According to Haartsen, it’s simply a myth that the vanishing of a school has a serious negative effect on the quality of life in a village.
Haartsen: ‘A school often plays several roles in a village. It’s only natural that it will take time to find ways to replace those functions. Where will I have to take my child to school? Where will I hear the village gossip? But once the dust has settled, the quality of life is just as good as it was before the school closed.’ The relationship between schools closing and the quality of life in depopulating areas is one of the themes that will be discussed on 26 November during the
Liveability, Participation, Resilience conference
held to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Depopulation Knowledge Network North Netherlands.
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Frans Sijtsma is a nature-lover, a fan of the Wadden Sea who climbs trees as a hobby. But he is also an economic geographer who never loses sight of the hard rules of economics. He tries to unite both of these aspects in his work.
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