Transportation policy as spatial planning tool; reducing urban sprawl by increasing travel costs and clustering infrastructure and public transportation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - behaviour, land use - transit oriented development, place - europe, ridership - drivers, ridership - perceptions


Travel behaviour, Land use, Residential location choice, Transit-oriented development, Road pricing, Flanders


Travel can affect land use just as land use affects travel behaviour of people. Low-cost travel, especially resulting from transportation improvements since the nineteenth century, has resulted in long-distance travel and urban sprawl, bringing along negative aspects such as traffic congestion and air pollution, but also reductions in biodiversity and public health. In order to try to partly reverse this process, the supply of infrastructure and public transportation can no longer follow the demand of transportation; the supply has to steer the demand. Infrastructure and high-quality public transportation should be clustered in and between large and regional cities. Increasing travel costs for car use (e.g., road pricing) can positively affect travel distances and travel mode choice, but also long-term decisions such as the residential location choice, stimulating compact, mixed-use developments. In this paper, we focus on Flanders, Belgium, a region where mobility policies stimulated long-distance travel and limited land use regulations did not hinder urban sprawl. Increasing travel costs combined with a more active spatial planning policy and a stronger cooperation between mobility policy and spatial planning can help to decrease car use and urban sprawl, but also change the way in which people perceive travel


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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