42nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "From Industry to Advanced Services - Perspectives of European Metropolitan Regions", August 27th - 31st, 2002, Dortmund, Germany
In the last decade the theme of high speed infrastructure in Italy has been deeply debated, with different political and technical opinions, which have expanded the time for projects and constructions. As a consequence of this long debate, a redefinition of the whole system, moving from high speed to high speed/high capacity railway system (HS/HC) has been agreed. This new model can be considered more suitable especially for the northern Italy corridor, which is highly populated and densely urbanised. Moreover, while the environmental effects of transportation facilities and of high speed infrastructure are relatively well known in literature since the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure has been applied to several study cases, the effects on economical and geographical structure are less studied and so quite often misunderstood or underestimated. According to a demand-side approach, infrastructure investments will follow mobility needs by the economical system, while from a supply-side approach infrastructure are a crucial means of regional growth. This paper presents a study case in northern Italy (the Milan-Verona track, of about 140 km of lenght), and it shows how spatial effect of a transport network can spread off far from the line, determining a new regional hierarchy and new location opportunity in a wide and highly populated area. A comparison has been made between the original high speed model and the most recent high speed-high capacity model. In the two cases the work investigates what is the area where the new infrastructure shows effects, at short and long term. With a spatial interaction model, used to represent residential location in relation to the distribution of workplaces, HS/HC line efficiency by accessibility calculus has been measured, showing several important results. Those results may be of interest even in similar European context where the HS programme is developing.