Evolving Challenges for Sustainable Growth
Edited by Roberta Capello and Tomaz Ponce Dentinho
Chapter 1: Transport and communications and regional development: new potentials and challenges
Increasing mobility is one of the constituting features of modernity: ‘The history of modern societies can be read as a history of their acceleration’ (Steiner, 1991: 24). Today Europe is facing a new thrust of acceleration: ever-tighter networks of motorways, high-speed railways and air connections are pervading every corner of the continent linking formerly isolated regions to the European core. At the same time, telecommunication networks not only connect every business and almost every home worldwide with 24-hour information, entertainment, advertising and services, but also with their mobile components allow a connection to these services from almost everywhere. The important role of transport and communications for regional development is one of the fundamental principles of spatial economics. In its most simplified form it implies that regions with better access to the locations of input materials and markets and with better connections with global centres of commerce and innovation will, ceteris paribus, be more productive, more competitive and hence more successful than more remote and isolated regions. However, the relationship between transport and communications and economic development is more complex. There are successful regions in the European core confirming the theoretical expectation that accessibility matters. However, there are also centrally located regions suffering from industrial decline and high unemployment. The poorest regions, as theory would predict, are at the periphery, but there are also prosperous peripheral regions, such as the Nordic countries. Yet also some of the economically fastest-growing regions are among the most peripheral ones, such as some regions in the new EU member states.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.