Table of Contents

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Jaime Sobrino

In this timely Handbook, seventeen renowned contributors from Asia, the Americas and Europe provide chapters that deal with some of the most intriguing and important aspects of research methodologies on cities and urban economies.

Chapter 17: Model building for infrastructure initiatives

Bert van Wee, Jan Anne Annema and Hugo Priemus

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, regional economics, urban economics, politics and public policy, public policy, research methods, research methods in economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics, regional studies, research methods in urban and regional studies, urban economics, urban studies


Transport infrastructure, both intra-urban and interurban, is of paramount importance for the functioning of cities. Without the transport of persons and goods cities could not function at all. Infrastructure allows people to travel between locations of activities such as living, working, recreation, education, and social contacts. And it allows companies to transport goods between destinations. In other words: infrastructure makes destinations and origins accessible. For the functioning of cities, both internal accessibility (origin and destination are within the city) as well as external accessibility (only the origin or the destination is within the city) matter. Transport infrastructure includes many types of physical infrastructure: roads (of several types, from motorways to small residential area streets), rail (heavy rail, light rail), pipelines, and in (or near) some cities: harbours, inland waterways and airports. Infrastructure is very expensive. In western countries road and rail infrastructure often costs 10–30 million Euro per kilometre, metro projects being often even much more expensive. Including all capital costs covering not only the rail lines but also railway stations and rolling stock, urban rail projects in Europe and the US cost between 50 and 150 million US$ per kilometre (Flyvbjerg et al., 2008). Large urban infrastructure projects therefore easily cost over 1 billion Euro or dollars.

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