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OECD Territorial Reviews: The Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague, Netherlands

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: The Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague, Netherlands

This report examines the Netherland’s new Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague (MRDH), drawing on lessons from governance reforms in other OECD countries and identifying how the MRDH experience could benefit policy makers beyond Dutch borders. Long in search of ways to strengthen urban areas, the Dutch government has recently undertaken the development of a National Urban Agenda known as Agenda Stad, in parallel to a series of broad institutional reforms. This included abolishing the country’s traditional eight city-regions, which led Rotterdam, The Hague and 21 smaller neighbouring cities to form the Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague (Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag, or MRDH). This report analyses the emergence of the MRDH both as a geographical area that spans 23 municipalities in the southern Randstad region and as a new metropolitan authority with transport and economic development responsibilities. One of the challenges the MRDH faces is how to bring the economies of Rotterdam and The Hague closer together while generating growth and well-being. 

 

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Assessment and recommendations

Findings from the 2014 OECD Territorial Review of the Netherlands suggest that the country could be getting more out of its cities and urban areas. The rich, polycentric spatial structure of the Netherlands has contributed to high levels of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, yet Dutch cities have not benefited to the expected degree from agglomeration economies. In search of new tools and institutional responses to strengthen urban areas, the Dutch government has in recent years undertaken the development of a National Urban Agenda (Agenda Stad), in parallel to a series of broad institutional reforms. One such reform, which became effective in January 2015, was the abolition of the eight city-regions (stadsregio WGR+ regio), which had for decades managed a range of metropolitan-scale functions in the country’s largest urban areas. While different institutional configurations were envisaged to redistribute their competencies and corresponding resources, Rotterdam and The Hague joined forces with 21 smaller neighbouring cities to merge the 2 former city-regions of Rotterdam and The Hague (Stadsregio Rotterdam and Stadsgewest Haaglanden, respectively) to form the Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague (Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag, MRDH).

English

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