A Study of Growth and Decline. Urban Europe by Leo van den Berg

By Leo van den Berg

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G. when a new industrial factory ousts a recreation ground—but in most cases the spill-over is the indirect result of effects on transport and traffic. An additional increase in traffic may make provisions less accessible; the construction of a new road, on the contrary, may make them more so. It is the public authorities' responsibility to distribute public money wisely, taking into account the various interdependences. They may first approach their task in a static way, asking: given a certain situation, and disregarding future developments, what is the best allocation?

The extra free time together with the rapid development of private motoring considerably increases spatial mobility which resulted also in increased recreation and tourism. Demands for areas suitable for weekend recreation around the towns is rising. Weekend cottages are being built in increasing numbers. The increased expenditure for these purposes made possible a decrease in the disparity in welfare level between urban and rural areas. Housing settlements built according to urban standards were provided for the employees of big state-owned farms.

The vast number of commuters created an immense demand for more extensive mass travel facilities, a sector which was then given top priority. Urban and suburban trans­ port systems were developed (tramways, bus lines, electric trains). Business enterprises built their own independent transport systems for their workers. Private motoring was still insignificant and, at this stage, not supported by the government. Travel to work, interindustrial relationships between complexes of economic activities and the urbanization of rural areas around the cities and major towns—all these contri­ buted to the development of the cities into so-called urban agglomerations.

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