Challenges for Transport and Public Services
NECTAR Series on Transportation and Communications Networks Research
Edited by Karst T. Geurs, Roberto Patuelli and Tomaz Ponce Dentinho
Chapter 2: Does accessibility still matter? Evidence from Swiss municipalities
The relative importance of location attributes may change over time, as postulated by the locational relativity hypothesis (Portnov and Schwartz 2008). This hypothesis proposes that in the initial stages of economic development, connectivity, and proximity to basic resources (such as fresh water and mineral deposits or train tracks and all-weather roads) tend to dominate location decision-making. However, while economy and society develop, new location-related elements may gain prominence. These new elements include climatic differentials, environmental attractiveness and proximity to unique urban functions (such as cultural facilities and educational services), which few major population centres may provide (Glaeser et al. 1992; Glaeser et al. 2001). In addition, average road travel time may dwindle as infrastructure improves, new all-weather highways are constructed, the quality of vehicles improves, and average travel speed and motorization levels rise (Knowles 2006; Banister 2011; Portnov et al. 2011).
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