Evert Meijers presented his work as part of the NAPOLEON project at a seminar as part of the Spatial Planning and Strategy Seminar series on 4th of June 2015. He explored the concept of  “borrowed size” in Dutch planning and its implications for regional development.
‘Good fences make good neighbours’ is a proverb that has developed in many different cultures, generally demonstrating a difficult to solve tension between boundary and hospitality, between demarcation and common space, and between individuality and collectivity. The same seems to hold for neighbouring cities. Having neighbour cities opens opportunities to “borrow size” through having access to their agglomeration benefits, but they may at the same time cast an “agglomeration shadow” due to competition effects. Which of these situations prevails is dependent on a number of mostly spatial conditions, which are explored in this seminar. In Dutch planning the concept of borrowed size is getting increasingly popular, and it will be thoroughly discussed, and evidence of the appearance of borrowed size is provided. In addition, the position of cities vis-à-vis other cities is linked to their performance.  It turns out that not having neighbour cities at all is not necessarily problematic, as isolation protects, but at the same time it does not allow to reap the benefits of the collectivity – and these are much larger. But should these neighbouring cities remain on their own, or is it actually best to pull down the fences, and foster integration?

Please follow and like us: