From integrated aims to fragmented outcomes: urban intensification and transportation planning in the Netherlands

Jan Duffhues, Luca Bertolini


Intensification of cities has been a planning aim in many countries over the last decades. A major reason for this is the expectation that urban intensification leads to better accessibility by sustainable transportation modes and therefore contributes to increasing their share. A positive feedback loop exists between the planning of high-capacity transportation networks and intensification of land uses around these transportation networks. Urban intensification policies acknowledge this. However, the integration of transport planning and land-use planning, which one would and should expect as a consequence of this acknowledgement, does not necessarily follow. In the Netherlands, an “implementation gap” in the transport and land-use planning process aimed at urban intensification can be identified, which prevents the positive feedback loop from happening. While similar issues have been identified elsewhere, there is still a lack of knowledge of where in the planning process the implementation gap emerges. This knowledge is essential if the gap is to be closed. To understand this, analysis of various planning documents, interviews, and participant observation are used. The results show that the most critical phases in the planning process are those in which aims need to be translated into actions and actions into performance indicators.


urban intensification, transportation planning, policy integration, implementation

Full Text:



Aditjandra, P.T., Cao, X. (Jason) & Mulley, C., 2012. Understanding neighbourhood design impact on travel behaviour: An application of structural equations model to a British metropolitan data. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 46(1), pp.22–32. Available at: [Accessed March 13, 2012].

Banister, D., 2008. The sustainable mobility paradigm. Transport Policy, 15(2), pp.73–80. Available at: [Accessed March 20, 2012].

Boelens, L. & Spit, T., 2011. Tussen droom en daad staat weinig regelmaat. In L. Boelens et al., eds. Compacte Stad Extended. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, pp. 106 – 125.

Brownstone, D. & Golob, T.F., 2009. The impact of residential density on vehicle usage and energy consumption. Journal of Urban Economics, 65(1), pp.91–98. Available at: [Accessed March 14, 2013].

Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, 2013. Onderzoek Verplaatsingsgedrag in Nederland,

Cervero, R., 1998. The Transit Metropolis, Washington: Island Press.

Cervero, R. & Day, J., 2008. Suburbanization and transit-oriented development in China. Transport Policy, 15(5), pp.315–323. Available at: [Accessed April 15, 2012].

Cervero, R. & Duncan, M., 2008. Which Reduces Travel More: Jobs-Housing Balance or Retail-Housing Mixing? Journal of the American Planning Association, 72(4), pp.475–490.

Ewing, R. & Cervero, R., 2010. Travel and the Built Environment. Journal of the American Planning Association, 76(3), pp.265–294. Available at: [Accessed March 1, 2013].

Ewing, R. & Cervero, R., 2001. Travel and the Built Environment: A Synthesis. Transportation Research Record, 1780(01).

Ferreira, A. & Batey, P., 2011. On why planning should not reinforce self-reinforcing trends: a cautionary analysis of the compact-city proposal applied to large cities. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 38(2), pp.231–247. Available at: [Accessed May 10, 2012].

Fietsberaad, 2009. Publicatie nummer 7. Het fietsbeleid van de Europese toppers: langdurig en integraal,

Handy, S., 2002. Smart Growth and The Transportation-Land Use Connection: What Does the Research Tell Us ? In New Urbanism and Smart Growth: A Research Symposium.

Hull, A., 2005. Integrated transport planning in the UK: From concept to reality. Journal of Transport Geography, 13(4), pp.318–328. Available at: [Accessed March 7, 2013].

Hull, A., 2008. Policy integration: What will it take to achieve more sustainable transport solutions in cities? Transport Policy, 15(2), pp.94–103. Available at: [Accessed March 7, 2012].

Hull, A., 2011. Transport Matters, London / New York: Routledge.

Krizek, K.J. & Levinson, D., 2008. Planning for Place and Plexus: Metropolitan Land Use and Transport, Routledge.

Marshall, T., 2013. Planning Major Infrastructure: A Critical Analysis. Available at: [Accessed October 18, 2013].

Melia, S., Parkhurst, G. & Barton, H., 2011. The paradox of intensification. Transport Policy, 18(1), pp.46–52. Available at: [Accessed May 13, 2012].

Miller, J.S. & Evans, L.D., 2011. Divergence of potential state-level performance measures to assess transportation and land use coordination. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 4(3), pp.81–103. Available at: [Accessed May 13, 2012].

Næss, P., Strand, A., et al., 2011. On their road to sustainability ? Town Planning Review, 82(April 2010).

Næss, P., 2005. Residential location affects travel behavior?but how and why? The case of Copenhagen metropolitan area. Progress in Planning, 63(2), pp.167–257. Available at:

Næss, P., Næss, T. & Strand, A., 2011. Oslo’s Farewell to Urban Sprawl. European Planning Studies, 19(1), pp.113–139. Available at: [Accessed November 8, 2012].

Niemeier, D., Bai, S. & Handy, S., 2011. The impact of residential growth patterns on vehicle travel and pollutant emissions. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 4(3), pp.65–80. Available at: [Accessed May 13, 2012].

Olesen, K., 2013. Strategic spatial planning’s role in legitimizing investments in transportation infrastructure. In AESOP-ACSP Joint Congress 2013.

Pedersen, M.S. et al., 2009. Report on Transport Scenarios with a 20 and 40 Year Horizon,

Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving, 2012. Monitor Infrastructuur en Ruimte 2012: nulmeting, The Hague.

Schwanen, T., Dieleman, F.M. & Dijst, M., 2004. The Impact of Metropolitan Structure on Commute Behavior in the Netherlands: A Multilevel Approach. Growth and Change, 35(3), pp.304–333. Available at:

Stead, D., Geerlings, H. & Meijers, E., 2004. Policy integration in practice, Delft: DUP Science.

Straatemeier, T., 2008. How to plan for regional accessibility? Transport Policy, 15(2), pp.127–137. Available at: [Accessed April 6, 2012].

Timms, P., 2011. Urban transport policy transfer: “bottom-up” and “top-down” perspectives. Transport Policy, 18(3), pp.513–521. Available at: [Accessed March 27, 2012].

UNEP, 2013. Global Environmental Outlook 5, Available at:

Wheeler, S., 2009. Regions, Megaregions, and Sustainability. Regional Studies, 43(6), pp.863–876. Available at: [Accessed March 15, 2013].