Inspire Policy Making by Territorial Evidence
  • Territorial Dynamics in Europe: Trends in Accessibility

    Trends in AccessibilityThe second number of ESPON Territorial Observations aims at providing policy makers and practitioners with short and concise information on important new evidence related to dynamics of accessibility development in Europe and its regions.

    ESPON results reveal that accessibility seen from a European level might not reflect the same patterns as accessibility observed from a national or regional perspective. Moreover, accessibility is today recognised as an important factor in the development of territories, regions and cities. And their accessibility is indeed increasing.

    The intention is to support policy makers engaged with regional competitiveness and territorial cohesion in their considerations in the further policy process. The ESPON Territorial Observation opens with a summary of 10 key points, among them are:

    • Transport infrastructure and transport service development during 2001-2006 has increased the overall accessibility of European regions and cities, with the highest improvement for rail accessibility.
    • New high-speed rail and air services have improved the accessibility of some regions outside the core area (Pentagon) supporting a polycentric pattern.
    • Road transport developments have improved the situation for many regions, particularly in Eastern Europe, benefiting from reduced border waiting times and from new infrastructure endowment.
    • Economic development of a region is often related with potential accessibility. In general, regions with a high accessibility are most often also economically and competitively successful.

    ESPON Territorial Observation No. 2 on dynamics of accessibility development in Europe and its regions, including maps and datasets, is available below.

    Should you have questions regarding the Territorial Observation, please do not hesitate to contact the ESPON Coordination Unit at

    Name Type Size
    TO No 2 November 2009 Trends in Accessibility PDF 7.64 MB
    Press Release Accessibility of European regions and cities has improved during 2001-2006 PDF 36.04 KB
    Map 1 Potential accessibility by air, 2006 PDF 499.16 KB
    Map 2 Potential accessibility by air, relative change 2001-2006 PDF 499.88 KB
    Map 3 Potential accessibility by rail, 2006 PDF 721.34 KB
    Map 4 Potential accessibility by rail, relative change 2001-2006 PDF 722.15 KB
    Map 5 Potential accessibility by road, 2006 PDF 720.96 KB
    Map 6 Potential accessibility by road, relative change 2001-2006 PDF 720.66 KB
    Map 7 Multimodal potential accessibility, 2006 PDF 499.19 KB
    Map 8 Multimodal potential accessibility, relative change 2001-2006 PDF 500.61 KB
    Map 9 GDP-PPS per capita versus potential multimodal accessibility PDF 516.62 KB
    Map 10 Annual net migration development versus potential multimodal accessibility PDF 517.69 KB
    Accessibility data XLS 540.00 KB