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Using accessibility indicators to assess spatial equity impacts. Application to the development of high speed rail corridors in Spain.
Áreas de investigación
  • Transporte
Equity issues are increasingly included among social impacts of transportation investments. Equity implications take into account the distribution of effects among different societal groups (social equity) or regions (spatial equity). The analysis of the spatial distribution of effects is crucial, as certain transportation investments may contribute to increase imbalances between regions, i.e. negative spatial equity impacts. The planning process of a new high speed rail (HSR) corridor should take into account these equity considerations. HSR specific features make it a serious candidate to result in negative equity impacts. In particular, the significant differences in commercial speeds between HSR and conventional rail, and the spatial separation between HSR stations, which contribute to the development of more polarized spatial patterns. This paper describes and validates a methodology to assess spatial equity impacts of HSR based in the calculation of accessibility indicators. Accessibility analysis is a special type of spatial analysis technique which is increasingly used to assess spatial equity impacts of transportation investments. In addition, the potential of accessibility analysis has been recently increased by new developments in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The construction of a HSR corridor improves accessibility. However, these improvements are concentrated near HSR stations, whereas intermediate locations obtain limited benefits, i.e. spatial equity may be deteriorated. Hence, there is a conflict between efficiency (economic) vs. equity (social) effects of HSR projects. If the only objective was the maximization of economic growth, the best solution would attempt to improve rail connections between major activity centres. However, this strategy would have a negative impact on equity, as it would lead to more polarized spatial development patterns. Current transport assessment methodologies lack a common procedure to deal with this trade-off. In this context, the paper develops a procedure to address these conflicting effects. On the one hand, efficiency effects are measured in terms of accessibility improvements. On the other hand, changes in the distribution of regional accessibility values are used to assess spatial equity implications. The proposed methodology is intended to support transport planners when confronted with the task to optimize efficiency and equity objectives. The validity of the methodology is tested with its application to alternative corridor developments of the Spanish HSR network based on the 2020 scenario included in the Spanish Strategic Transport and Infrastructure Plan 2005-2020 (PEIT).
Nombre congreso
NECTAr Cluster Meeting
Tipo de participación
Lugar del congreso
Pugla, Cagliari (Italia)
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Título de las actas
Book of Abstracts
Esta actividad pertenece a memorias de investigación
  • Autor: Andres Monzon De Caceres (UPM)
  • Autor: Emilio Ortega Perez (UPM)
  • Autor: Elena Lopez Suarez (UPM)
Grupos de investigación, Departamentos, Centros e Institutos de I+D+i relacionados
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Investigación en Planificación del Transporte
  • Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de Investigación del Transporte
  • Departamento: Ingeniería Civil: Transportes
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