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Ex-post Evaluation of Thirty Years of Compact Urban Development in the Netherlands

Karst T. Geurs and Bert van Wee
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Karst T. Geurs: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, PO Box 303, 3720 AH Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
Bert van Wee: Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 1, 139-160

Abstract: Despite the wide array of academic research, the impacts of compact urban development are not very well understood. What is lacking are, first, the insights into how a region or country would have appeared under policy regimes other than those realised and, secondly, a broad evaluation of relevant land use, transport, accessibility and related societal and ecological impacts. Here, we report on an initial attempt to establish a methodology and evaluation framework for analysing the effectiveness of Dutch compact urbanisation policies implemented between 1970 and 2000. Our conclusion is that, without compact urban development policies, urban sprawl in the Netherlands is likely to have been greater, car use would have been higher at the cost of alternative modes, emission and noise levels in residential and natural environments, and the fragmentation of wildlife habitats would have been higher.

Date: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:43:y:2006:i:1:p:139-160