Transport Bridging Divides

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Transport connects people, places and cities. Investment in transport infrastructure therefore helps bridging economic and social divides. It promotes economic growth and catching up of regions by providing access to jobs for workers and markets for firms. This report summarises evidence on the benefits of transport investment for economic growth and job creation and thereby for catching up in OECD regions. Beyond economic divides, the report consider inequality in access to opportunities using the EC-ITF-OECD Urban Access Framework. It considers how transport can bridge social divides by taking a closer look at accessibility within OECD cities (functional urban areas). Cities differ greatly in their ability to provide inclusive access to opportunities across more affluent and poorer neighbourhoods. To bridge divides, the report highlights the need to go beyond transport infrastructure investment and consider wider urban planning, as well as complementary measures in regions.


Transport infrastructure trends and regional development

This chapter provides an overview of recent trends on transport infrastructure development in European and OECD member countries and reviews the main benefits associated with it. It starts with a description of how transport infrastructure investment has changed across countries and regions, both in terms of the magnitude and its composition, paying particular attention to differences between urban and rural regions. Next, it moves onto reviewing the main benefits associated with an efficient transport system, all while making suggestions on how current evaluation tools, such as cost-benefit analysis, could be improved to account for all of them. It emphasises the need for different metrics that can better capture the potential of transport infrastructure improvements and the importance of taking a “more aggregate” view when evaluating investment projects that can account for potential displacement of economic activity. The main benefits are discussed in reference to the type of investment: interregional highway and railway – both traditional and high-speed – development, highway development in the proximity of cities and infrastructure development within cities.


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