Evaluation of the effectiveness of the vacancy toolbox for vacant and/or neglected business premises
Since 1995, the Flemish Government has taken measures to contribute to the prevention of vacancy and the neglect of business premises. This decree provides for a toolbox that comprises three instruments: an inventory of vacant and/or neglected business premises, levies for the owners of vacant and/or neglected business premises, and subsidies for projects that give these vacant and/or neglected sites a new lease on life. After 20 years, it was time for a thorough evaluation of the vacancy toolbox.
IDEA Consult conducted an assessment, with three results:
- The creation of a clear model of the programme theory to visualise the relationships between target groups, instruments, outcomes, conditions and assumptions;
- An evaluation of the effectiveness of the vacancy toolbox for vacant and/or neglected business premises, focusing on how and why the toolbox works/does not work;
- Clear and targeted recommendations regarding the adaptation of and targeted use of the vacancy toolbox for vacant and/or neglected business premises.
The research methodology combined quantitative and qualitative research methods. The quantitative research component consisted of an analysis of the inventory of vacant and/or neglected business premises. The qualitative research component consisted of a literature study, strategic interviews, case study research, two focus discussions and a working session.