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

Karst T. Geurs*, Bert van Wee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


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

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-160
Number of pages22
JournalUrban studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Ex-post evaluation of thirty years of compact urban development in the Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this