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  • Author: Karel Maier x
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Assessment of territorial benefits and efficiency from the construction of motorway and speed train networks: The Czech case

Abstract

The Czech Republic has been developing its motorway network since the 1970s, while efforts to upgrade its railway system from the 1990s have been limited to improvements of existing major lines. Only recently has the government decided to construct new “speed connection” rail lines. This article investigates the possible territorial benefits from the future development of planned motorways and of various speed connection railway options. The modelling is based on Huff’s gravity model that calculates the benefits from improved accessibility, to job and service centres for residents of each municipality. The modelling outcomes are used to compare planned motorway development and rail development options with respect to their efficiency, related to the investment and potential numbers of users.

Open access
Stakeholders in the local service centre: who should be involved in the planning process? Insights from Poland, Czech Republic and Denmark

Abstract

Local service centres play a vital role in shaping the quality of life in urban neighbourhoods. They offer access to essential everyday services (shops, education, healthcare, personal services) and to public spaces. If they are properly planned and managed, they can bring particular added values to a local community, such as social integration and territorial identification. The history of urban planning has produced several patterns of local service centres (ancient agora, mediaeval market square, neighbourhood unit, modern agora) but today a question arises: how can a local service centre be successfully planned and organised in post-modern political practice? How can its potential be realised and the ever-changing needs, expectations and preferences of local communities be met? Who should be involved in those processes? To answer those questions in this paper we refer to citizen participation and public communication concepts, where selecting the appropriate stakeholders emerges as a necessary starting point for effective urban governance. We present the results of in-depth interviews with local actors (local authorities, municipality officials, town planners, non-governmental organisations, local leaders) in Poland (Wrocław, Siechnice, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Warszawa and Zabierzów), Czech Republic (Prague) and Denmark (Copenhagen). Depending on the specific local context, various stakeholders are perceived as essential to the decision-making process. The power relations and problems encountered in implementing public policy in particular locations have been summarised in three sections: relationships between stakeholders, leadership, and good practices. The paper concludes with a list of typical actors who should be involved in planning, building and managing a local service centre in an urbanised neigh-bourhood.

Open access