Impact of the High Speed Train on the European Cities Hierarchy

  • Giuseppe Mazzeo CNR - Dipartimento di Pianificazione e Scienza del Territorio


The European space is marked by the recent beginning of the dualism nation-region. In it the cities take on a fundamental role because their success becomes the success of the territories around. Manuel Castell has maintained that the city is the social structure in which any territorial phenomena (from the economical development processes to the relations between classes or ethnic groups, from the public intervention to the financial accumulation) takes on its bigger strength because in it are concentrated the focusing in the territorial transformations. Obvious the cities are not the same, for physical or functional dimension; besides every innovation adds and modifies the relational system previously created. Aim of the paper is to analyse the factors generating the urban hierarchies to the European level and the impact on it of the new high velocity nets. In the first section it is carried out a reading/analysis of the hierarchies in the urban European system, as outlined in a series of studies. The second section analyses the role of the communication infrastructures in the building of the hierarchies and, in the third, is deepen the impact of the building of European high speed network on the fluctuations in the cities hierarchy. The paper asserts that the hierarchy is influenced by the growing of this infrastructure only for the second level positions, while the head positions are not influenced by it. One of the possible conclusion is that in a mature situation as the European territorial system, the urban structure seems to be well organized around poles with a strong persistence. This does not mean that a city could not climb the hierarchies, although this is possible only if a number of preconditions and of support policies are verified and with the remarks that this does not seem to affect the head positions, characterized by large stability.


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Author Biography

Giuseppe Mazzeo, CNR - Dipartimento di Pianificazione e Scienza del Territorio
Ingegnere. Ricercatore presso il Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, in distacco presso il Dipartimento di Pianificazione e Scienza del Territorio della Università Federico II. Docente dal 2005 del corso di Tecnica Urbanistica II presso la Facoltà di Ingegneria della Università Federico II di Napoli, corso di laurea in Ingegneria Edile – Architettura. Incaricato dal 1999 al 2004 del Corso di Analisi e Valutazione Ambientale presso la Facoltà di Scienze Ambientali della Università Parthenope di Napoli. Autore di oltre 50 pubblicazioni, incentrate in alcuni dei settori chiave dell’urbanistica, quali la pianificazione territoriale, le trasformazioni urbane e la valutazione ambientale. Su questi temi è stato relatore a numerosi congressi nazionali ed internazionali. Membro dell’Associazione Italiana di Scienze Regionali e dell’Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica.
How to Cite
Mazzeo, G. (2010). Impact of the High Speed Train on the European Cities Hierarchy. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 2.

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