Travel Behaviour
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Travel Behaviour

Spatial Patterns, Congestion and Modelling

Edited by Eliahu Stern, IIan Salomon and Piet H.L. Bovy

Travel Behaviour is a challenging and original volume, adding to the growing literature focusing on understanding transportation systems. The book capitalises on actual scientific and applied developments in Europe, the importance of EC policies and the resultant trend in studying differences between North American and European research.
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Chapter 1: The compact city: Conflict of interest between housing and mobility aims in the Netherlands

Kees Maat


1. The compact city: Conflict of interest between housing and mobility aims in the Netherlands Kees Maat 1. INTRODUCTION Urban land use has been dispersing and thinning out over the past few decades. For many, this implied that they could realize their dream of suburban living. While the countryside, including the ‘Green Heart’ of the Randstad metropolis, was being urbanized, the economic base of the urban facilities and services was being eroded. Moreover, the emerging spatial structure promoted the use of the private car and implicitly discouraged people from using bicycles and public transport. Consequently, the need for private cars kept on growing. Already during the 1970s, opinions differed on whether the trend could be reversed. The reversal would mean promoting a more compact pattern of urbanization, thereby halting the trend toward a greater dependency on mobility, especially on the private car. That debate is still going on at the international scale. The Netherlands was one of the first countries to raise the topic. In fact, the Netherlands made the promotion of compact cities the cornerstone of its spatial planning policy. However, the government is now distancing itself from this principle. As it turns out, the goal of curbing mobility by planning compact cities proves to be much harder to achieve than anticipated. In spite of all interventions to this end, the mobility rate is hardly diminishing. Nor are there signs of a shift from the use of cars to the use of bicycles and public transport. The difference...

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