Landscapes of Trade: towards sustainable spatial planning for the logistics complex in the Netherlands

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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By combining different perspectives and methods of empirical research, this PhD thesis
generates multi-disciplinary insights into the rise of the logistics complex and its planning
discourse whilst focusing specifically on XXL distribution centres (DCs) in the Netherlands.
Since the 1980s, the building footprint of this complex has increased fourfold, to approximately 80 million square metres, generating a new large-scale landscape type: Landscapes of Trade.
The research addresses urgent issues regarding the seemingly ubiquitous growth pattern of DCs in the Netherlands, the dominant and increasingly challenged policy narrative of the Netherlands as a ‘gateway to Europe’, and the public-private actor network that appears to fall short of adequate DC planning and development. Other issues are the claimed employment benefits of DCs, the balance of the benefits and burdens of logistics, and the provision of useful spatial planning information for logistics clusters in the emerging circular economy. This thesis shows how historical, economic and institutional dynamics have shaped the rampant expansion of the logistics complex in the Netherlands. The thesis argues that a new logistics policy narrative is necessarily grounded in the contemporary dynamics and policy goals that are quite different from the conditions in the 1980s. Further research and planning practice along these lines would include open information provision in the logistics spatial planning discourse with an international scope, intensive and multifunctional land use, reverse logistics enabling circularity in DCs, as well as added value of DCs for local communities and businesses.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Zonneveld, W.A.M., Supervisor
  • Daamen, T.A., Supervisor
  • van Oort, Frank, Supervisor, External person
Thesis sponsors
Award date21 May 2024
Place of PublicationDelft
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-869-9
Electronic ISBNs978-94-6366-869-9
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment No 10 (2024)


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