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Accessibility is gold, mobility is not: a proposal for the improvement of Dutch transport-related cost–benefit analysis


  • António Ferreira
  • Els Beukers
  • Marco Te Brömmelstroet


Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) has become a key instrument for the evaluation of transport planning policies and projects in the Netherlands. Currently, this instrument is also used to evaluate integrated land-use and transport strategies. In Dutch transport-related CBA the conceptualisation of benefits is directly related to a narrow understanding of mobility. In this paper we argue that this understanding introduces an undesirable bias in transport planning that favours mobility-enhancing projects. We argue that the benefit to society of contemporary transport planning practice is no longer the improvement of mobility, but the improvement of accessibility. Therefore, Dutch CBA should acknowledge this in its calculations and shift from a mobility focus towards an accessibility orientation. We use a hypothetical illustration to show what the added value of an accessibility orientation can be. It facilitates a mindset where new and more sustainable directions for improving the competitiveness of regions are easier to find. Keywords: cost–benefit analysis, transport planning, accessibility, mobility, assessment tools

Suggested Citation

  • António Ferreira & Els Beukers & Marco Te Brömmelstroet, 2012. "Accessibility is gold, mobility is not: a proposal for the improvement of Dutch transport-related cost–benefit analysis," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(4), pages 683-697, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:39:y:2012:i:4:p:683-697

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    1. repec:eee:trapol:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:10-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Nikolas Thomopoulos & Mosche Givoni & Piet Rietveld (ed.), 2015. "ICT for Transport," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15613.

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