Integration of transport & land-use

The case of the Leiden-Gouda area

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If we think of large scale infrastructure projects in the Netherlands that have been developed recently we might come to the conclusion that the number of completed projects in terms of rail infrastructure is very limited. And if someone might ask to give a successful example of a railway line that has been developed last years it is hard to give a positive answer to this. We probably all know the ‘Betuwelijn’ or the recently completed ‘HSL’ (FYRA) (both connecting the Netherlands with its neighbouring countries), because of the issues around these projects; the extraordinary budget and their outranging costs in particular. It even might be argued that such projects have put large railway projects in a negative perspective. But also projects of smaller scale have been realized, at regional level: the ‘Randstadrail’ for example – a tramline that connects The Hague and Rotterdam. This project is probably more successful, partly because the line has been built together with its surroundings. Nevertheless, what these projects have in common is that they are defined by high complexity; for instance, they require participation of many different stakeholders and ask for integral planning approaches because these projects interact with their spatial and programmatic environment. The research of this master thesis draws on these constraints regarding integration of infrastructure planning and spatial development, and addresses the related issues of governance at regional level, between provincial and municipal administration - the ‘regional gap’. Both issues come together with projects in regional transport infrastructure. In order to understand the context of this ‘arena’ the thesis contains a survey on the system of spatial planning in the Netherlands, including the latest practices related to integrated transport planning. Secondly, in order to find potential and appropriate concepts that anticipate on these critical issues, various theories on integrated transport planning (e.g. nodal development or ‘transit oriented development’) and regional governance (e.g. institutional capacity building) are derived from literature research. As part of the empirical research, a regional transport infrastructure project has been taken as a case study: the ‘Rijn Gouwe Lijn’ (RGL) between Leiden and Gouda. In this case the critical issues regarding regional transport infrastructure are addressed and appropriate concepts from the theoretical study are applied. This thesis ends up with some final conclusions and recommendations for the case study area, from which the latter is translated in a proposal of three alternative design suggestions (a spatial concept together with a regional structure vision, an institutional framework and a planning strategy) in order to demonstrate the use of a design from a collaborative approach. Finally, some recommendations are done for future research.