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From Squalor to ‘Beauty'.' The Dutch Approach to Deprived Areas
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From Squalor to ‘Beauty'.' The Dutch Approach to Deprived Areas

(Marieke van Rooy) The Low Countries - 2009, № 17, pp. 70-77

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When the new Dutch cabinet took office in 2006, tackling the problem of deprived areas was high on its agenda. This was in response to the electorate's evident demand for positive solutions to crime and the general sense of insecurity. During the hundred days that the government spent travelling around the country to take the pulse of the Dutch public, it was decided that forty districts would be eligible for a special offensive. The areas selected, which were chosen on the basis of figures relating to income, population transience and unemployment, were designated ‘krachtwijken' (places of power ) or ‘prachtwijken' (places of beauty). Ironically enough, the names do not refer to the actual situation in these areas but to the hoped-for future. At present these areas are burdened with socio-economic deprivation, with unemployment, low educational levels, school dropout rates, vandalism, a sense of insecurity and crime all rubbing shoulders.

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