Core themes: the basis of our work

Our work is structured into core themes to clearly show what topics we are specialized in. Core themes are clusters of all the activities relating to a subject, including research, knowledge at the table and individual questions.

The core themes are managed by 3 core theme managers: Arjen ’t Hoen, Pauline Wortelboer-van Donselaar and Stefan Verduin. We work with 3 core themes:

Core Theme A: Mobility and Accessibility (Arjen 't Hoen)

The core theme, Mobility and Accessibility, focuses on how the mobility system operates. KiM analyses the interaction between the various modalities, while accounting for trends and innovations. To explain mobility and accessibility, KiM reviews past developments, including societal developments and implemented policy measures. KiM also looks ahead, devising medium- and long-term studies, as well as estimating how specific policy options will impact mobility and accessibility.

KiM moreover examines the mobility of specific groups. Different social groups exhibit different mobility behaviour, such as that of senior citizens and young people. Research in this area provides crucial information for policy development, determining the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of certain policy instruments for certain groups.

KiM collects and manages its analytical data (such as from the Netherlands Mobility Panel), and also collaborates with other institutions in renewing the data collection. KiM devises models that explain and estimate developments in mobility, while also assisting in the development of third-party models.

Core Theme B: Sustainability and Regions (Stefan Verduin)

This core theme focuses on sustainability and regions. Sustainability is a matter of concern for all of the Netherlands and every sector, and hence must not be excluded from the mobility sector. From a thematic focus on mobility and transport, KiM examines the full impact that emissions have on both the climate and human health. Aspects in this core theme would therefore include people’s transition paths, behaviour and choice processes, for example. Sustainability is already a facet of many research studies, yet some studies make sustainability a focal point, and this core theme encompasses such research.

Different regions in the Netherlands face different challenges: some regions are depopulating, while others are densifying, and each has its own specific mobility-related issues that affect regional spatial developments. Cities are growing, densifying and increasingly serving as the economic engines of the Netherlands, and hence knowledge is needed about how mobility is changing and expanding in such areas, and about how urban and national mobility systems interrelate. And also about the flip side of that economic function: the engine’s increasingly important impact on the climate.

In depopulating regions, development runs contrary to that of cities, and hence knowledge is required for understanding how mobility systems develop in the context of population decline. Given such regional differences, the question arises as to the consequences for society when priorities are balanced.

Core Theme C: Policy Evaluations and Role of Government (Pauline Wortelboer-van Donselaar)

KiM’s focus in this core theme is on evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of policy measures, and answering questions pertaining to the role of government (legitimacy).

KiM provides knowledge to policy directives regarding the approach and results of evaluations, or conducts its own evaluations. Moreover, KiM verifies evaluations devised by third parties; here, a key element is deepening and expanding the methodology of social cost-benefit analyses. Additionally, we examine the different aspects of societal importance: the contributions to the Netherlands’ economic development, as well as the external costs of mobility, such as climate damages. KiM also devises policy indicators, which are used to monitor the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management’s policy objectives and determine the extent to which they are achieved.