Ruimte en planning: tijdschrift voor ruimtelijke planning, stedenbouw en huisvesting issue:3 pages:18-33
This article focuses on urban development in the Flemish city of Ghent. Two forms of urban development, namely large-scale urban development projects and socially innovative urban renewal, are distinguished on a theoretical level. Large-scale urban development projects are designed to attract external resources for development (investment capital, tourists, wealthy inhabitants, etc.) and improve the competitive position of cities in transnational networks, whereas socially innovative urban renewal stimulates the development of the local population’s endogenous development capacities. Both approaches to urban development can be found in Ghent. Ghent city council defends this explicitly as the ‘and and’ approach. We analyse the recent urban projects in Ghent with a focus on their impact on the housing market and argue that large-scale urban development projects, through their impact on the housing market, tend to undermine socially innovative urban renewal strategies. We conclude that now that cities, after decades of social, economic, cultural and demographic decline, are becoming attractive again, measures to stop social exclusion through gentrification is probably the biggest challenge ahead for urban planners.