The influence of land use and mobility policy on travel behavior : a comparative case study of Flanders and the Netherlands


Numerous transportation studies have indicated that the local built environment can have an important effect on travel behavior; people living in suburban neighborhoods travel more by car than people living in urban neighborhoods. In this paper, however, we will analyze whether the regional land use has an important influence on travel behavior by comparing two regions with a varying land-use pattern: Flanders (Belgium) and the Netherlands. The different land-use pattern seems to have influenced travel behavior in both regions. An active spatial planning policy in the Netherlands, clustering activities in urban surroundings, appears to have realized a sustainable travel behavior, as a substantial share of residents frequently walk, cycle or use public transportation. The rather passive spatial planning in Flanders, resulting in urban sprawl, seems to stimulate car use. The applied mobility policy also has an impact on the travel behavior and land use of the Flemings and the Dutch. Infrastructure is concentrated in Dutch urban environments, whereas Flanders has a more widespread network of infrastructure and cheap public transportation, resulting in a further increase of suburbanization

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