Boek adaptive mobility


Luuk Boelens, Dirk Lauwers, Frank Witlox

ISBN code

978-94-91937-17-0 (e-book: 978-94-91937-18-7)


218 pages

DOI code


This book sketches a new, future research and policy agenda for mobility planning in Flanders, and therewith for suburban, horizontal metropolises in general. It departs from evolving investigations, researches and lines of thought at several departments of Ghent University (coordinated within the Network for Sustainable Mobility Research; IDM) and tries to further materialize this into a resilient agenda for tomorrow. These attempts start from different views about the interaction between society, space and mobility; driven by radical transitions (disruptions) from the traditional to more complex, a-linear approaches. This transition is characterized by three major challenges:

  • From generic towards situational approaches of the demand side of the travel market;
  • From hard and stable to smart adaptive approaches within the transport and traffic market;
  • From top-down strategies towards structural couplings and coevolution in the mobility market. The first challenge (SOCIETY AND SPACE) deals with situational travel behaviour in respect to changing settings of accessibility, lifestyles, and their interaction with society, health and space; and drives towards an urgent need for a better understanding of 'soft' factors such as personal attitudes and lifestyles.

The second challenge (TECHNOLOGY AND INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL) deals with the ongoing use of new technological means, including shared mobility and interactive design to facilitate these increasing individual demands; and drives towards a better understanding and policy processing of the ongoing use of new technologi- cal means that pervades daily life and allows us to construct connected mobility and interactive design to facilitate increasing individual demands.

The third challenge (GOVERNANCE AND COLLECTIVITY) deals with adaptive, actor- relational approaches of mobility, in changing settings of formal and informal initiatives in mobility planning; and drives towards a better understanding of the complexity of decision making and the adaptive, collaborative or co-evolutionary 'governance' of complex mobility situations.

This book elaborates on each of these challenges with state-of-the art research executed at Ghent University. However each of these challenges needs also to be taken together towards a mutual adaptive, co-evolutionary agenda for sustainable mobility. Society and space, technology and big data and governance of common pools are three main drivers for resilient change, and need to be integrated in order to translate towards efficient, embedded and decisive mobility policies.

About the Authors

Luuk Boelens is full professor spatial planning and director of the Centre for Mobility and Spatial Planning (amrp) at Ghent University. He holds a master degree in Urban and Spatial Planning (TUDelft) and a PhD in Spatial Planning and Philosophy at the Universities of Delft, Utrecht and Groningen. He has been adjunct director of the Spatial Planning Team Randstad Holland, co-founder/director of the consultancy firm Urban Unlimited and extraordinary professor at Utrecht University on behalf of the ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment in the Netherlands. Currently he is adjunct chairman of The Network for Sustainable Mobility Research (, chair of the Mobility and Spatial Planning (moro) Trust at Ghent University, (co)promotor of the Policy Research Centre for Spatial Planning Flanders and chair of the Think-tank Climate Adaptation Flanders. Email:

Dirk Lauwers is visiting professor at Ghent University, where he teaches and acts as research promoter in the elds of Mobility Planning and Traf c Engineering Design. Apart from his academic activities he has been a consultant in traffic planning and engineering and regional and urban planning for more than 30 years. He was an expert for several spatial policy plans for Flanders and was leading planning processes for the main transport corridors in Flanders. He has been responsible for several regional and transport planning processes in Central and Eastern Europe during the past 25 years.

Frank Witlox holds a PhD in Urban Planning (Eindhoven University of Technology, promotor Harry Timmermans), a Master's Degree in Applied Economics and a Master's Degree in Maritime Sciences (both University of Antwerp). Currently, he is Senior Full Professor of Economic Geography at the Department of Geography of the Ghent University, and the current chairman of The Network for Sustainable Mobility Research ( He is also a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology (Department of Geography) of the University of Tartu (Estonia), and an Associate Director of the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network. Since August 1 2013 Frank Witlox has been appointed an Honorary Professor in the School of Geography at The University of Nottingham. His research focuses on travel behavior analysis and modeling, travel and land use, sustainable mobility issues, business travel, cross-border mobility, city logistics, global commodity chains, globalization and world city-formation, polycentric urban development, contemporary challenges in agricultural land use, and locational analysis of corporations. Email: