23 Jun 2010

Planning for the future, or trying to anticipate what will happen, is often an important aspect of regional studies. At a European level, the Europe 2020 strategy is one example of this.

In the Netherlands, a recent report has taken things a bit further ... to 2040! The Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis has just published 'The Netherlands of 2040', a documents which attempts to imagine the future by looking at various scenarios for growth and development. Perhaps of most interest to RSA members is Chapter 6 (p. 115), on 'Spatial development: Cities and economic geography'.

Earlier on in the report, four scenarios for the development of the Netherlands in 2040 are presented using axes from specialisation to generalisation and scattering to concentration (see below). Four different settlement types are then identified: 'talent towns', 'egalitarian ecologies', 'cosmopolitan centres' and 'metropolitan markets'.

Overall, some interesting stuff and worth a look...