Spatial density and mix use in the Netherlands (RUDIFUN)

RUDIFUN data can be used by government authorities, spatial researchers, urban planners and urban designers to investigate the coherence between spatial density and the mixed use that blends residential and other uses on the one hand, and urban subjects on mobility and transport, liveability and the real estate market, on the other.

In the field of urbanisation, density and mixed use are recurring themes that are related to subjects such as sustainability, mobility and transport, local environment and real estate prices. The FSI (Floor Space Index) and MXI (Mixed Use Index) are indicators that were developed quite some time ago. However, in the past, they were hardly available, as it would be too time-consuming to determine them on a large scale. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, now, has automated the determination of these and three other, related indicators, based on open data.  

Mapping spatial density

PBL has developed a method for automating the calculation of spatial density, expressed in FSI (Floor Space Index) and GSI (Ground Space Index) and their derivatives L (Layers) and OSR (Open Space Ratio), in order to allow for nationwide, generic calculation. These indices, in accordance with the Dutch NEN9300 standard at city block, neighbourhood, district and municipal scales, are provided in the RUDIFUN data set.

These indices not only show spatial density data, but also offer insight into the urban morphology of the local, physical environment (Berghauser Pont and Haupt, 2010). In addition, the degree of mixed use as expressed in MXI (Mixed Use Index) is calculated, as defined by Van den Hoek (2008).

Data for spatial research

The indices may be used to empirically support spatial research on mobility and transport, liveability, real estate value and energy. The availability of these indices also provides a database of reference environments that can be used by government, provinces, municipalities and urban designers, in support of future spatial development. This report describes the various indices and their applications.


Arjan Harbers, Martijn Spoon, Hans van Amsterdam, Johan van der Schuit


Publication title
Spatial density and mix use in the Netherlands (RUDIFUN)
Publication date
10 May 2019
Publication type
Product number