Analyzing and Simulating Urban Density: Exploring the Difference Between Policy Ambitions and Actual Trends in the Netherlands
Koomen, E., Dekkers, J., & Broitman, D. (2018). Analyzing and Simulating Urban Density Exploring the Difference Between Policy Ambitions and Actual Trends in the Netherlands. In Spatial Analysis and Location Modeling in Urban and Regional Systems (pp. 145-171). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
28 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2021
Date Written: 2018
This chapter explores the potential of geospatial analysis to characterize land use dynamics in urban areas and the surrounding urban fringe. It focuses on the difference between policy ambitions and reality with respect to urban densification. Policy ambitions for the containment of urban development are ambitious in the Netherlands, as is evident from the many local objectives to concentrate residential development within existing urban areas. These ambitions are formulated as target shares of the total net increase in housing stock that should be realized within designated urban area boundaries. Following a GIS-based analysis of local changes in housing stock between 2000 and 2008, we are able to describe actual intensification shares and residential densities in newly-developed urban areas. We observe that, especially in the already densely-populated western part of the country, the realized urban intensification shares are below the specified policy goals/ambition levels. Using these observations along with scenario-based projections of the regional increases in housing stock, we are able to determine the demand for new urban land in 2020. Using a land use simulation model, we simulate the urban development processes until 2020 according to two scenarios and two policy alternatives. In the first policy alternative, growth in the number of house units is based upon policy ambitions, while in the second scenario growth is based upon observed trends over the past decade. The results show that current policy ambitions related to urban intensification levels will greatly help in containing the substantial urban growth that is projected in the case of a high economic and population growth scenario. If urban development follows past trends, unabated, thus demonstrating relatively low urban intensification shares, large-scale urban extensions are likely to occur.
Keywords: urbanization; spatial analysis; urban planning; urban growth boundary
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