Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, mode - mass transit


Urban development, Trip length, Travel patterns, Travel distance, Transit, Public transit, Netherlands, Mass transit, Local transit, Land use, Compact cities, Cities


The compact-city policy is a prudent strategy for carrying out city intensification and expansion. Similarly, public transport is seen as the most appropriate mode of transportation for this urban form. The connection between the two is clear--public transport makes sense in a compact city, and the compact city seeks to increase the use of public transport. However, the validity of this claim from the perspective of the residents is questionable. The length of trips made by city residents in compact cities tends to be so short in the Netherlands that these trips are often carried out by nonpublic transport modes, such as bicycle and car. Moreover, by increasing densities in and around the compact city, public-transport systems no longer can meet the disperse pattern of transportation demands of all citizens. An evolutionary relationship exists between urban expansion and types of public transport. When a transport system is developed on a regional scale, a choice will need to be made between two alternatives--the commonly used line-by-line approach and the integration and nodal approach. In the first case, success will depend on land use policies, whereas the latter tends to correspond better to the increasing diffuse travel patterns of residents and to evolve according to the features of the city structure and the opportunities for expansion within the system.