Land Use in the Bergen region. A System dynamics analysis of the jobs-housing imbalance
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- Department of Geography 
The urban development in the Bergen region has been characterized by urban sprawl and undefined expansions of the urban area which gave rise to a geographic imbalance: while the city center of Bergen offers more jobs than housing units, the vast majority of the surrounding urban areas provide more housing units than jobs. As a consequence, the number of commuters has grown, resulting in an unfavorable increase in traffic. The Bergen Land Use Model, a System Dynamics model, has been designed to analyze the underlying structural causes of the imbalance and to investigate how a better balance regarding the distribution of jobs and housing units could be established. The availability of zoned land is found to play an important role in determining the distribution of jobs and housing units. While the planning authorities have a clear decision rule on how much land to zone for housing, they do not have a clear rule operating when zoning commercial land. Neither is there a rule stipulating which urban area is to be provided with what kind of zoned land. Three policy options have been designed and tested: an arranged relocation policy, a rezoning policy and a zoning decision rule policy. The zoning decision rule policy aims at establishing a connection between the zoning of land for housing and the zoning of land for business, which would serve to help control the future distribution of jobs and housing units. Model simulations indicate that this policy, especially when combined with the rezoning policy, could reduce the imbalance in the region.