Short trips and central places: The home-school distances in the Flemish primary education system (Belgium)
journal contributionposted on 2019-03-04, 13:20 authored by Kobe Boussauw, Michiel Van Meeteren, Frank Witlox
This paper examines the extent to which home-school trip length in northern Belgium is influenced by the spatial distribution of the school sites, and to what extent this distribution contemporarily functions according to propositions of central place theory. Furthermore, from a sustainable mobility perspective, it is evaluated if the primary school network's density supports a daily urban system based on short distances. The results indicate that the overall system's density meets the requirements of a non-motorized system, while the distribution confirms central place mechanisms. The majority of the pupils live within walking or cycling distance from their school, while opportunities exist to further reduce this distance by choosing an alternative school. However, depending on the structure of the concerned settlement, school accessibility varies considerably. Finally, the results suggest that recent increases in school trip length and motorization are mainly caused by non-spatial factors.
This paper draws from research conducted within the Policy Research Centre on Spatial Development, funded by the Flemish Government (Belgium).
- Social Sciences
- Geography and Environment