Evaluating regeneration policies for rundown industrial sites in the Netherlands

31-10-2012 | Publication

Systematic evaluations of regeneration policies and programmes for industrial sites are scarce. This is particularly the case for evaluations that aim to examine whether policy objectives have been achieved and to what extent this was due to the implementation of that policy or programme. Regeneration policies and programmes for these sites usually involve public provision of infrastructure, public spaces and serviced building plots. The main objectives of these policies are to promote economic development.

To narrow this gap in evaluation studies on industrial sites, this paper presents an ex post evaluation of regeneration policies for rundown industrial sites in the Netherlands over the 1997–2008 period. Pooled data was obtained from various sources and provided us with information on regeneration initiatives, their duration and nature, as well as additional details on sites, location and regional characteristics on more than half of all sites that existed over the 12-year period in the Netherlands. Propensity score matching enabled us to systematically compare outcomes related to regeneration policy objectives between sites that were subjected to regeneration and those that were not. This subsequently enabled us to study the effects of regeneration initiatives on these outcomes. The findings of this study suggest that regeneration for industrial sites has a negligible effect on outcomes related to the most commonly stated policy objectives, namely the increase in employment, in the number of firms, in property value and in land-use intensity at these sites.

PBL working paper 8