It was 1982 and I lived in the center of Vlissingen. It was cozy, simple and always busy with tourists who came to the coastal town and port city for the many cultural events. Many pubs, restaurants and terraces and along the beach many beach bars …
There was a lot of employment, fair earnings and spending was made in Zeeland, the natural environment was beautiful and used responsibly. The city dwellers maintained the city themselves and helped each other.
In the seventies there was always a building somewhere that was being renovated …
In the eighties, Vlissingen lost its cultural soul to the modern “efficient” managers.
The use of the boulevard has been “sold” to external project developers, the patronage of the shops in the city center has been lured away by large shopping centers outside the city.
From a cozy, messy port town full of people, but without debts, Vlissingen has now become an empty, clean city that is financially dependent on the national government.
The money that comes in through the rental of houses, shops and hotels disappears to shareholders who have nothing to do with Vlissingen.
Due to the current COVID-19 measures, many retail properties are vacant and if the owners do not carry out maintenance, the city center will soon become impoverished again, as it was in the 1930s.
In the current new building, maintenance by the owner himself has not been taken into account. Due to the choice of materials and height of the buildings, buildings are called “maintenance free”.
An saying in Sweden : “If the manufacturer says it´s maintenance free then that means it is not possible to maintain”
My experience is that modern efficient managers do not have “maintenance” in their vocabulary …