Shifting Gravity

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to find an answer on the question of how we should deal with situations where there has been a very large expansion -which results in a shifting gravity point- and we have to search for densification opportunities within existing urban areas. In these situations the new basis of the housing area at the edge of the city can be used to add new facilities within the city and make new development more successful, mainly in the in-between area. To sustain a certain amount of facilities, an area needs a sufficient amount of people within the proximity (Montgomery, 1998) and the new expansion can provide this. The dependency of the housing expansions on the existing city for their daily needs (Hereijgers and Velzen, 2001) will probably result into an increasing amount of traffic flows. This means that the in between area can benefit from its new position within the city and use it as a potential. Therefore, the main research question of this thesis is: how can we implement new housing oriented developments within the area in between a large housing expansion and the urban core in growing Dutch cities, by dealing with a shifting gravity point and making use of the support provided by the housing expansion at the edge of the city? The major challenge of this research is to reveal the development potential of areas that find themselves in comparable situations as described above, find out which developments will fit into these urban structures and how these developments should be implemented. The cities of Amsterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht and Amersfoort will provide interesting study cases for these analyses, as they are realizing four of largest expansions in The Netherlands (Boeijenga and Mensink, 2008).