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Chapter 7 - Transportation and the Economy
Transport systems are closely related to socio-economic changes.
The mobility of people and freight and levels of territorial accessibility
are at the core of this relationship. Economic opportunities are likely
to arise where transportation infrastructures are able to answer mobility
needs and insure access to markets and resources. From the industrial
revolution in the 19th century to globalization and economic integration
processes of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, regions of the
world have been affected differently by economic development. International,
regional and local transportation systems alike have become fundamental
components of economic activities. A growing share of the wealth is
thus linked to trade and distribution. However, even if transportation
has positive impacts on socio-economic systems, there are also negative
consequences such as congestion, accidents and mobility gaps.
Transportation is also a commercial activity derived from operational
attributes such as transportation costs, capacity, efficiency, reliability
and speed. Transportation systems are evolving within a complex set
of relationships between transport supply, mainly the operational capacity
of the network, and transport demand, the mobility requirements of an
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