Techniques in Antwerp's battle against urban poverty that are useful for communitites throughout the world
In Networking Neighborhoods, Erik Van Hove establishes a direct link between existing perceptions of cities and the persistence of urban poverty. He explores a mystery surrounding urban poverty—its perpetuation despite the great wealth of modern nations and their efforts to eradicate it. Through his overview of urban history, his appeal to the ideas of key urban sociologists, and his experiences as a partner in an unconventional neighborhood development agency, Van Hove offers a fresh way of looking at urban environments that enables the resuscitation of neighborhoods choked off from the vitality around them.
Van Hove builds upon the idea that a global network of urban centers will one day replace the current system of sovereign nation-states and recommends that neighborhoods be no longer considered territorial segments within a fixed space but instead viewed as nodes in the larger urban network.
Moving from theory to application, Van Hove illustrates his contentions through the work of the Neighborhood Development Agency, or BOM, founded in Antwerp, Belgium, in the 1980s by a coalition of university researchers and private and public agencies. Compiling and assessing the contributions of community workers, urban planners, economists, architects, and sociologists, Van Hove places the experience of the BOM within the broader field of urban renewal policy in the "welfare states" of the world.
A native of Belgium, Erik Van Hove has taught research methods at the University of Antwerp. A widely published author of books and articles, he has participated in many applied research projects, primarily in health and welfare services provision. In 1989 he founded the Neighborhood Development Agency (BOM) in Antwerp. Van Hove lives in Belgium.