Abstract: While a significant body of research has focused on urban agglomeration and accessibility and its economic effects, this paper provides new empirical research on regional scale and intermodal access. It shows how business agglomerations can occur at different scales and in different forms, reflecting a range of needs to access local and regional populations, supplier and customer markets, and intermodal gateways for access to broader global markets. These different types of accessibility have economic development and productivity effects that are particularly important for transportation planners who need to evaluate proposals for freight and passenger modal investments connecting communities and intermodal facilities. To address these issues, the paper brings together three complementary perspectives: (a) transportation planning literature that distinguishes types of transportation investment and plans; (b) site location literature that defines business location decision processes and their spatial scale, and (c) economic research that provides a basis for defining scale economies and productivity effects. It presents results of a new US study that develops statistical relationships between types of accessibility and industries in terms of their relative concentration and productivity at a county level. It discusses the implications of these findings in terms practical applications for improving transportation investment planning and needs for further research.
The poster can be found here.
The white paper can be found here.