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 [email protected]


TO No 2 November 2009

  • Acrobat Document | 7.64MB

Press Release

  • Acrobat Document | 36KB

Map 1

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Map 2

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Map 3

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Map 4

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Map 5

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Map 6

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Map 7

  • Acrobat Document | 499KB

Map 8

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Map 9

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Map 10

  • Acrobat Document | 518KB

Accessibility data

  • Excel Document | 540KB