Urbanism in a smaller sized city: A research into the (urban) lifestyle of the city of Heerlen

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Today, more and more people live in cities, therefore the question arises whether a certain ‘urban’ lifestyle is formed. This urban lifestyle and its effects, changes and possibilities poses challenges for contemporary citymakers. Furthermore, smaller sized cities face a lack in discussion and research. The aim of this research is then to provide new insights to urban theories and knowledge within the large city ‘bias’. Secondly, the research focusses on the aspect of lifestyle: a very important aspect of the daily urban environment. It is conducted in the setting of a smaller sized city. The city of Heerlen is the fourth largest city of the province of Limburg (87.000 inhabitants). However, the primarily industrial city has seen a steady decline in population since the closing of the Dutch State mines in the 1960’s. Ever since the closing it has felt the economic and social effects: from declining population to increasing poverty, vacancies and economic decline and degradation of public space. This research looks into these consequences and impacts on the lifestyle. Consequently elaborating on how the current lifestyle is shaped by its people and how it is being facilitated through city governance.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen