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Magic Carpets and Seamless Webs: Opportunities and Constraints for High-Speed Trains in Europe

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The modern high-speed train, developed in Japan from 1964, spread widely in Europe from the end of the 1970s. It has taken different forms in various European countries, reflecting different national approaches but also the realities of different national geographies, which make integration into a single European network difficult. Nonetheless such a network will be virtually complete in the urban core of North West Europe, as well as France, Spain and Italy, by 2009 and more widely across Europe about a decade later. The spatial impacts of the new lines will be complex. They will favour the large central cities they connect, especially their urban cores, and this may threaten the position of more peripheral cities. Within large metropolitan areas they will favour zones close to traditional central stations, but interesting possibilities exist for edge-city locations which may assist local urban regeneration. The UK's Thames Gateway is the most ambitious attempt in the world to achieve this on a sub-regional scale.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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