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Transport infrastructure and regional development in Switzerland: Accessibility, spatial policy and urban sprawl during the last fifty years

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Martin Tschopp and Kay Axhausen focus on the impact of transport infrastructure on the demographic and spatial development of municipalities and regions. Accessibility is both the primary service provided by transport infrastructure and the link between transport infrastructure and land use. It can measure the spatial impact of newly built transport infrastructure and show the attractiveness of a region's location. Tschopp and Axhausen provide a general survey of the evolution of Swiss transport planning since the 1950s. Results indicate that accessibility does influence spatial development but differs considerably over time and space. It leads to more equal dispersion of population in peripheral urban areas between conurbations as well as to more concentrated settlement patterns in rural and alpine areas.

Keywords: Accessibility; Motorway network; Spatial development; Spatial planning; Switzerland

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: ETH Z├╝rich

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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