The Analysing and Exploring Sustainable Urban Strategies (AESUS) project aims to develop a new generation of models that integrate societal developments, urban processes and changes in accessibility with sustainability issues. Such models can be used to better understand the complexity of reality, help shed light on potential future developments and evaluate possible impacts of alternative development strategies. In the Netherlands several models are available that describe part of the complex relationship between urban dynamics and sustainability. Currently, however, these are not equipped to deal with contemporary spatial development issues and recent changes in the policy context (e.g. deregulation, decentralisation) in which these developments unfold. Nor are these models used in combination to offer an integrated view on the sustainability issues related to urban development. Within this project we aim to improve existing models and apply them in an integrated way to better understand increasing regional differences in urban development and propose and evaluate different urbanisation strategies. This is done in the context of expected developments along the hinterland-corridor surrounding the A2 motorway that connects Amsterdam with Belgium. The project focuses on the following research themes: 1) analysing regional differences in growth (and shrinkage) of population and employment; 2) developing new planning and design concepts to deal with contemporary urban development processes and current changes in the policy context; 3) develop and integrate spatial decision support tools that can be used in national and regional spatial planning and development processes (in particular the Land Use Scanner model and Urban Strategy framework).