The disappearance of primary schools, medical practices and bus stops from rural areas in the Netherlands is deepening the gulf between cities and countries, a new report concludes.
Researchers from three government agencies are calling for targeted investments to keep remote public services from falling further behind.
They warn that depriving communities of facilities affects people’s health, reduces life expectancy and increases the risk of obesity and chronic disease.
Some of the five regions surveyed for the report also lag behind in median income. Veenkoloniën (former peat mining area east of Groningen), his Kop van Noord-Holland area around Twente, Parkstad Limburg, Twente and Den Helder.
“Living standards in villages, regions and communities have been squeezed and as a result various regions have fallen behind,” the report said.
“In certain areas, the availability of cultural facilities and meeting places is also not up to par.”
Residents’ perception that they were overlooked for public investment was often justified, the researchers said, adding that the central government had made a “deliberate choice” to invest in areas that were already well-served. He added that he had
As a result, people living in remote areas have had to travel far to reach hospitals, and there are fewer shops and sports facilities in their neighborhoods.
They feel that the country is too remote to understand what is going on in the countryside. ”
https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/03/loss-of-local-services-is-widening-gap-between-city-and-country-report/ Loss of local services widens gap between cities and countries – report