'Vinex' stands for Vierde Nota Ruimtelijke Ordening Extra, a notation of the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment ('Ministry for VROM') meaning 'Fourth note on spatial scheduling extra'. This policy paper, which appeared in the 1990s, defined not only an enormous construction task (large outer city areas were identified for massive new housing development), but also mobility objectives played an important role. By their location, design and opening-up the Vinex locations had to contribute to reducing unnecessary car mobility.
The Vinex locations were established in the 1990s as a result of the Vinex national spatial policy. In 1999 a first study was carried out to investigate the mobility patterns of the inhabitants of these Vinex locations. Recently, the ministries of VROM and Transport requested a new evaluation of the mobility effects of the now more developed and matured Vinex locations.
This study is an evaluation of the Vinex policy as it has been carried out. It includes an overview of whether the locations developed under the Vinex policy are still in line with the new policy objectives as described in the policy papers 'Nota Ruimte' and 'Nota Mobiliteit' ('Space' and 'Mobility').
The basis of this study is a statistical analysis of the mobility data of the OVG (Onderzoek VerplaatsingsGedrag - 'travel behaviour research') for the period 1998-2003.
The analysis methodology which has been used is regression analysis. A separate regression analysis for different population groups has been carried out.
The situation in the Vinex developments is largely in accordance with policy intentions, both with regard to proximity and accessibility.
Success was achieved with regard to the development of inner city locations, the quality of public transport facilities and the proximity to urban centres.
Policy implementation was less successful with regard to mixing land uses and the distances to daily facilities.
The mobility generated varies strongly between different types of locations.
New developments, in general, generate more motorised mobility than average. Locations that were developed as part of the Vinex policy do better than non-Vinex developments. In particular, the inner city Vinex developments are characterised by low car use, despite a very mobile population composition.
Car use is high on Vinex greenfield locations, which can mainly be attributed to the composition of the population.
Overall, the preferred spatial characteristics of Vinex developments, proximity and accessibility, have played a noticeable role in generating a more favourable mobility pattern. Particularly the proximity of urban centres and the accessibility by public transport have contributed to the lower car use in Vinex developments in comparison to non-Vinex.
With the appearance of the two policy papers 'Space' and 'Mobility' there is a change in the spatial mobility policy which can be seen. Slowing the increase of mobility and achieving modal shifts are therefore no longer the aim. Mobility must be facilitated as much as possible, to support economic growth. Also the way in which the policy will be implemented, i.e. mainly by decentralisation, is new.
Despite these changes in thinking, objective and targeting philosophy the spatial mobility policy has not changed very much. Clustering still stands first, but now based on using the existing infrastructure as efficiently as possible. Also mixing different functions, particularly around transport junctions, are still part of the policy.
Looking to the future we can state that Vinex building achievements, despite the change in policy thinking, fit rather well in this new policy. In addition, the 'Vinex-locaties' show a considerable robustness. Only experience will tell whether the new policy and releasing the reduction objectives with respect to mobility will lead to an explosive increase in vehicle kilometres.
If the clustering policy dominates, then due to the closeness of urban centres, facilities and better provision of public transport, it should be possible to control the mobility increase. This will result however in an extra burden on the busy parts of the infrastructure.
When, as a result of decentralisation, spreading of urbanisation increases further, mobility will grow more, but probably in a way which contributes to a better use of the existing infrastructure and reliable accessibility.