Jøgen Møller from Aalborg University argues that local and regional authorities should deal with the migration from villages in Northern Jutland by applying the same rejuvenation policies that have been used in towns and cities.
In the case of villages, hovever, that would mean tearing down 20 – 30 percent of the houses in some areas as they have been allowed to decay.
I haven’t heard politicians argue for such an approach in Denmark – yet – but there are parallels in some of the minor Swedish industrial communities that were hit by the huge changes in the industrial structure from the 1960s onward: Here, local councils have been forced to demolish even relatively new houses.
In many ways the regional economic and demographic developments are similar in Denmark and Sweden: Modern service and knowledge-based industries concentrate in the bigger cities while peripheral parts of the countries experience a stagnation or even decline in population numbers.
Both countries might benefit from a concerted effort to handle the effects, not by pretending that regional policies can rejuvenate villages but by abandoning a number of villages and settlements.
Hm – I’m beginning to sound like an editorial writer from Svenska Dagbladet…