The Netherlands less filthy, but cities still dirty
In recent years, fewer people in the Netherlands were annoyed by graffiti on walls and buildings, vandalised bus and tram shelters and dog droppings in their neighbourhood according to Statistics Netherlands. The decline was observed in urban as well as rural areas, although city dwellers more often feel annoyed than people living in smaller communities. People living in the four major Dutch cities also think the level of decay in their own neighbourhood has been reduced.
Between 2008 and 2011, the proportion of people in the Dutch population who indicated that dog droppings were a common sight in their neighbourhood was reduced from 33 to 29 percent. Wilful destruction of street furniture was also reduced in recent years from 14 percent in 2008 to 9 percent in 2011. Graffiti on walls and buildings is also less commonly found compared to several years ago, but the decline is less substantial.
City dwellers – more often than people living in small villages – have to cope with decay of their neighbourhood environment. In highly urbanised municipalities, the proportion of people who report that litter in the streets is a frequent phenomenon is twice as high as in municipalities with a lower degree of urbanisation. Graffiti on walls and buildings is found three times as often in cities as in rural areas. The level of decay is evaluated as less serious in urban as well as rural areas. Essentially, the manner, in which city dwellers and people living in small communities cope with decay in their direct environment has not changed.
The process of neighbourhood decay in the four major cities in the Netherlands tallies with the situation found across the rest of the country. Here, too, people seemed to be less annoyed by dog droppings and vandalism of street furniture in 2011 relative to 2008. Graffiti on walls and buildings and litter in the streets are obviously more common in the four major cities than on average across the country, but dog droppings and vandalism of street furniture are as common in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht as in the rest of the country.
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