45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This paper on the spatial impact study Railway Zone Breda describes a participatory SWOT-analysis for assessing the impact of a large scale innercity infrastructural project on adjacent residential neighborhoods in which residents and other stakeholders, policy officials of the municipality of Breda and researchers participated. This large infrastructural project includes the transformation of the present railway station into a shuttle station for the high speed train Amsterdam – Paris. The redevelopment of the Breda railway station will have undeniable impacts on the adjacent neighborhoods Belcrum and Spoorbuurt. For this reason the municipality of Breda decided to let the stakeholders in the neighbourhoods participate in the impact analysis. In the research process the emphasis was directed to the question what impacts the renewal could have for these neighborhoods. The inhabitants and businesses of those neighborhoods were divided in their opinions and expectations. Some of them mainly saw the positive side - they expected to gain by the new situation - but others stressed the potential dangers of the intended project, pointing at. Hence, the main research objectives were 1) to identify and analyze the current strengths and weaknesses of the neighborhoods, 2) to foresee / estimate the potential impacts of the large infrastructural transformation and the transformation (building) process on the adjacent neighborhoods, and 3) to identify the actions were needed to maximze the positive effects and minimize the negatieve effects. This case study narrates on a participatory policy analysis process (cf. Geurts & Mayer, 1996; Mayer, 1997) in which knowledge generation, exchange and application by the stakeholders mentioned, is combined with expert and practitioner's knowledge to generate new insights (situated cognition, cf. Bredo, 1994) with a focus on future implementation on behalf of the policy making process that takes place in a local community network.