Locating available space in urban areas; spatial density and mixed use


In urban regions in the Netherlands, the demand for housing, business locations, recreational areas and infrastructure is large, while space is only scarcely available. Locating that space and utilising it efficiently calls for knowledge about current and future urban density levels. In order to determine the current levels, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has developed RUDIFUN—a model on spatial density and mixed use in the Netherlands that covers the entire country.

RUDIFUN data can be used by government authorities, spatial researchers, urban planners and designers to investigate the coherence between spatial density and the mixed use that blends residential and other uses on the one hand, and urban themes on mobility and transport, liveability and the real estate market, on the other. These data also allow for a comparison between already urbanised areas and future area development, based on density levels and the degree of mixed use. 

Urban density

The RUDIFUN model provides an indication of the density and morphology of urban areas. It presents results according to the Floor-Space Index (FSI – also known as FAR (Floor Area Ratio)) and Mixed Use Index (MXI). These units are calculated on city block, neighbourhood, district and municipal scales. The FSI map shows the spatial density of urban development, while the MXI represents the ratio between residential and non-residential floor area. This publication describes the various indices and their applications.

The story map presents interactive maps of the Amsterdam metropolitan area that show the urban density of the area as well as the ratio between residential and other uses.