Baltic Sea Region Territorial Monitoring System

Multimodal accessibility potential

Indicator definition

This indicator is defined as the number of people that can be reached by all modes (road, rail, air), where the attractivity of destinations is defined by their population size, subject to the travel time to reach them. The individual car, train and plane travel times are summed up as logsum, to derive the overall multimodal accessibility potential.

Indicator importance

This indicator measures the market potential and locational advantage of a city or region.

Findings

Results for Europe are quite interesting: besides regions in the ‘blue banana’ enjoying high accessibility levels, confirming high accessibilities by road and rail, airport hub regions out-side the blue banana (for instance, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna, Budapest, Prague) also show accessibility levels above the European average, due to their favorable flight connections. Among the most accessible regions are also regions in the BSR, such as Berlin, Warsaw, or Copenhagen/Skane. Still, the results of this indicator are very much driven by air accessibility, resulting in significant differences in accessibility levels between neighboring regions, from extremely poor levels to medium or very high levels (examples inter alias to be found in Baltic States, or Poland).

Another interesting observation is that accessibility levels in East European countries (Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece) and in Portugal and Spain are generally lower than in the BSR, even in their northernmost territories. The reason for this is that Finland, Norway and Sweden maintain a dense flight network even to peripheral cities, with several daily connections at least to the capital city, while in Eastern Europe rural regions are not so well served with flight connections.

Looking at the changes in multimodal potential accessibility in the ten-year period from 2001 to 2011, apart from few exceptions only regions in East European countries such as Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, southern Poland and the Baltic States experienced significant performance increases, mainly due to improvements to the flight networks. Most of the other European regions improved their accessibility potential, however, only at smaller proportions.