Living near highways: The impact of existing and planned highway infrastructure on residential satisfaction

Marije Hamersma

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Living near highways often comes with nuisances (noise, air pollution, barrier effects), but may also bring accessibility gains. This doctoral research provides insight in the impact of existing and planned highway infrastructure on residential satisfaction. The insights are based on a questionnaire among residents in seven highway locations in the Netherlands, complemented with in-depth interviews.

    Generally speaking, residential satisfaction appeared quite high at the studied locations, and mainly affected by highway proximity in case related positive and/or negative effects are perceived. Residents tradeoff the impact of highways with other residential characteristics. This highlights the importance of an integrated perspective, considering the highway as part of the local environment.

    The influence of highway projects on residential satisfaction is dependent on how residents tradeoff (expected) accessibility improvements with effects on the broader environment. This tradeoff is influenced by characteristics of projects (such as project-phase and -type) and of areas and residents. Residents who actively participate seem to be somewhat more negative compared to the ´silent´ majority. Considering representativeness, it would be worthwhile to also include opinions of the latter group in highway planning.

    The findings furthermore suggest that residents are more positive about projects when they are satisfied about provided information and participation possibilities. This satisfaction is related to the quality of what is provided, but also influenced by personal characteristics, such as interest in projects, trust in government, other information sources and socio-demographics. This indicates the importance to always provide a variety of information and participation possibilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Arts, Jos, Supervisor
    • Heinen, Eva, Co-supervisor
    • Tillema, Taede, Co-supervisor
    Award date16-Mar-2017
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs9789036795746
    Electronic ISBNs9789036795739
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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