Keywords: energy consumption, household activities, sustainable urban form, travel behaviour
Sustainability and planning: does urban form matter?
This paper deals with the difficult relation between urban form, travel behaviour and sustainable development. In more developed countries, the influence of governments on urban form can be considerable through planning. Modern planning theory focuses mainly on procedural aspects. It is argued in this paper that substantive aspects cannot be neglected if sustainable solutions are being pursued. For making urban land-use planning more sustainable, it is essential to have insight into the relationships between the urban "users" and their surroundings. This is outlined by presenting some survey results on the additional role of the spatial context on household behaviour. The survey was conducted among households in the region of Amersfoort in the Netherlands. The results provide some empirical evidence that household behaviour is related to urban form, although in a complex way. Reasonably more energy-intensive and therefore less sustainable household practices were observed at the urban outskirts more than in the rural area, whereas differences according to neighbourhood building design were inappreciable.