Vacant retail space, should the municipality intervene?

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Abstract

There is a considerable increase of vacancies on the retail market. This can lead to a decline of the liveability of the environment and blight in the area. There is a tension whether the government should intervene or the market needs to address retail vacancies. This case study in the Netherlands identifies the possible roles and instruments of municipalities to address such vacancies in inner cities. Q-methodology was used to identify viewpoints of the involved stakeholders. Two different viewpoints revealed in this study are in line with the tension that is identified in literature.