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ResearchUrban and Regional Studies InstituteResearch projects

Living near highways

Principal researcher

Marije Hamersma

Type of research



Promotor: prof. Jos Arts

Daily supervisor: Taede Tillema


Roads bring both positive and negative externalities i.e. accessibility and hindrance to people. Accessibility is vital for reaching activities and for economic growth of regions. However a highway is also ‘grey environment’ bringing negative environmental effects like noise, air pollution and barrier effects on the local level. This research takes on a micro perspective using both quantitative as well as qualitative research methods to investigate how positive and negative road related factors impact locational decisions, house prices, quality of life and moving behavior of residents. Moreover we study the impact of interventions i.e. changes in road infrastructure or mitigation measures in relation to people’s reactions (for example the propensity for NIMBY-behavior). Within studying these trade-offs, we pay attention to differences between groups of residents and geographical areas in experiencing this trade-off between accessibility and hindrance. These insights can be used to better fit road infrastructure planning decisions to the characteristics of an area in order to improve livability and reduce future opposition.

Last modified:21 December 2017 2.12 p.m.