Ex-post evaluation of thirty years of compact urban development in the Netherlands

01-02-2006 | Publication

Despite the wide array of academic research, the impacts of compact urban development are not very well understood. What is lacking are, firstly, 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 would have likely 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.