Countering decline of industrial sites: Do local economic development policies target the neediest places?

J. Beekmans, H. Ploegmakers, K. Martens, Erwin van der Krabben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Local economic development is a much used tool for the regeneration of urban areas. Although the designation and effectiveness of local economic development policies has been studied extensively in existing literature, the question as to whether these policies are aimed at the areas that are most in need of these policies remains relatively understudied. This question has been answered using the case of industrial sites in the Netherlands. This particular type of urban area in the Netherlands has experienced problems with rapid urban area decline and has therefore been targeted by various area-based regeneration initiatives for many years. The economic performance is the main justification for the designation of industrial sites that are in greater need of regeneration. However, another pertinent and unanswered question is: are the industrial sites targeted for regeneration really the ones that underperform economically? (Multinomial) logistic regression analysis is used to answer this question. Differences in economic performance, measured by the growth in employment figures, the number of companies and property values, between industrial sites that are targeted for regeneration in two different rounds of regeneration initiatives and non-targeted sites are studied. The analysis shows that the differences in economic performance are negligible between these groups. It indicates that other criteria, such as political and strategic decision making influence policymakers’ decisions to target industrial sites for regeneration, thus making it at least doubtful that public money for the regeneration of industrial sites is being spent on what it is meant for.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3027-3047
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number14
Early online date16 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Nov 2016


  • industrial sites
  • local economic development
  • multinomial logistic regression
  • urban decline
  • urban
  • regeneration


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