Challenges for Europe and North America
Edited by Karst T. Geurs, Kevin J. Krizek and Aura Reggiani
Chapter 9: The impact of accessibility on house prices: an application to large urban planning and infrastructure projects in the Netherlands
To better address Dutch infrastructure projects whose worth has been called into question, at least from a cost–benefit perspective, strict guidelines to evaluate such projects have been developed (Eijgenraam et al., 2000). These guidelines have been made mandatory for transport infrastructure projects which require funding from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. For the near future, one of the largest infrastructure and urban planning projects in the Netherlands is the RAAM project in the corridor Amsterdam–Almere–Markermeer (see also Chapter 8) and already various (cost–benefit) analyses have been performed regarding the feasibility of (parts) of this project. In the coming decades there will be a great need for new dwellings in the western part of the Netherlands, and land available for construction is scarce in this part of the country. This has led to an upward pressure on housing prices and might also act as a restriction on regional economic growth. The only region which still has a relative abundance of land is the Province of Flevoland which has been reclaimed from the former sea, De Zuiderzee, in the 1950s and 1960s. The largest town, Almere, is situated in the western part of this region, just to the east of Amsterdam (see Figure 8.1, Chapter 8 in this volume). In 2010, Almere was a middle-sized town with 190 000 inhabitants, but by 2030 it is projected to become the fifth-largest town in the Netherlands with 350 000 inhabitants and an additional 100 000 new jobs. Local and national policy-makers envisage investing both in urban planning (60 000 new houses will be constructed) and in infrastructure projects. The main component of the latter is a large improvement of rail transport between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Almere.1 Ultimately, the project should transform the city of Almere from a dormitory town for Amsterdam to a vibrant, dynamic and entrepreneurial city, with endogenous economic growth potential (Berg et al., 2007).
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