TPR, 55 (4) 1984
Planning for housing construction
and population distribution in the
The use offorecasting models
Planning residential construction and dealing with spatial planning issues require
insight into the future situation. It is of prime importance for the planner to be able
to evaluate the effect of specific interventions on future developments, and
predictive models may be employed to generate such insights. This article deals
with two models which are currently in use in Dutch planning circles. The first
model deals with the spatial interaction generated by new residential
construction; the second model is an application of the wel1-known input-output
model in the field of housing. The application of the models should help in
evaluating which construction programme creates the optimal redistribution
effects of existing dwelling units.
Examination of various reports and memoranda concerning housing and spatial
planning in the Netherlands elicits two explicit policy goals. One was advanced by
the division of housing of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning, and the
Environment, and reads as follows: 'While striving for equal opportunity for all, as
many homeseekers as possible should have their housing needs satisfied within a
reasonable time span' (author's translation).' The second, more complex, goal
proceeds from the policies being pursued by the division of spatial planning of the
Ministry, the core of which is how to obtain the maximum benefit from existing
facilities. To this end, the population distribution should parallel the present
pattern of facilities. to the extent that this is feasible. This implies aiming for a
migration balance for each province. Within each province the relative positions of
the urban areas are to be protected; the migratory processes should balance at this
le~el also? In practice, however. these two policy goals are obviously conflicting.
ThIs discrepancy makes the formulation of a more general question pertinent: how
~re such planning questions operationalised by the Dutch government; what
!nstruments are available for the implementation of the policies; and what exactly
IS the role of research?
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