The perceived importance of facilities for rural citizens in Fryslân, the Netherlands

W. M. de Vries, E. van der Veen, B. B. Bock, S. Christiaanse, T. Haartsen

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Many rural regions in Europe are confronted with populationdecline and concomitantly a decline in facilities such as shops, banks andpost offices, as well as basic services such as education, health care andpublic transport. In this paper we discuss the situation in the province ofFryslân, in the North of the Netherlands, as an example of how changes inthe number of facilities matter for rural inhabitants, even in the rural areasof a densely populated and highly urbanised country. This paper starts withexamining changes in the availability and accessibility of facilities. We thenexplore which facilities are perceived as important to maintain in thevillage, and how villagers expect to react to their disappearance. The resultsshow the impact of rural facility decline differs across space and populationgroups, and needs to be understood "in context" - the context of everydaylife, including varying levels of mobility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-137
Number of pages19
JournalSociologia e politiche sociali
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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