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Transportation Networks and the Optimal Location of Human Activities

A Numerical Geography Approach Isabelle Thomas, Senior Research Associate, Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research and Professor, Department of Geography, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
The relationship between the shape of transportation networks and the optimal locations and allocations of human activities is examined in this unique volume.
Winner of the 2001 BMW Scientific Award
Extent: 320 pp
Hardback Price: $146.00 Web: $131.40
Publication Date: 2002
ISBN: 978 1 84064 708 2
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Economic Geography
  • Regional Economics
  • Transport
  • Environment
  • Transport
  • Geography
  • Economic Geography
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Regional Economics
  • Transport
The relationship between the shape of transportation networks and the optimal locations and allocations of human activities is examined in this unique volume.

Simulations are performed on different toy-networks: several transportation networks are designed and their effects on location-allocation results are tested on different markets. Several optimal location models are used. The author then attempts to discover how the modelling results are affected by negative externalities or zone pricing policies. Finally, these results are applied to real-world situations, illustrating and confirming the results of the simulations performed on toy-networks.

This volume will be considered as an interesting and original approach for location-modellers as well as planners. Transportation Networks and the Optimal Location of Human Activities will also appeal to geographers, spatial economists, location-allocation practitioners and transportation researchers.
‘The book is clearly written and contains an extensive literature review that promises to be a useful guide to readers who intend to apply network structures in their own research. . . The research in this book is original. It hopes to initiate a critical discussion and therefore leaves a lot of questions open.’
– Hans Kremers, The Economic Journal

‘The book’s special contribution is that it highlights the impact of transport infrastructure on the optimal location patterns . . . well written. It provides new ideas for insiders and at the same time is also accessible for outsiders . . . Isabelle Thomas has written a nice book with a clear focus.’
– Piet Rietveld, Journal of Regional Science

‘Economists have rediscovered space through the surge of the so-called “New Economic Geography”. However, they often forget the tremendous amount of work developed in economic geography per se. In this book, Isabelle Thomas provides a clear, rigorous and unified treatment of one of the main approaches taken by geographers to study the location of human activities, namely Numerical Geography. Economists, regional scientists and transportation planners have much to learn from this book while geographers should be pleased to see how one of them masters so well such a difficult topic.’
– Jacques Thisse, CORE, Belgium
Contents: 1. Introduction Part I: Measuring the Shape of the Transportation Network 2. ‘Measuring’ the Shape of the Transportation Network: State of the Art Part II: Location-Allocation Results and the Shape of the Transportation Network 3. Optimal Locations and Transportation Networks: The Case of Autarky 4. Optimal Locations and Transportation Networks: The Case of a Common Market 5. Optimal Locations of Human Activities and the Permeability of the Border in a Common Market Part III: Location-Allocation Modelling and the Measure of Distance 6. Distance-Predicting Functions and Location-Allocation Results 7. Price Policies, Transportation Networks and Location-Allocation Results 8. Negative Externalities and Location-Allocation Results Part IV: Land-Use Planning and the Shape of the Transportation Network: Two Real-World Examples 9. Optimal Locations of Health Centres in Niger: Rainy Season versus Dry Season Accessibility 10. Optimal Location of Recycling in Belgium: Externalities versus Transportation Costs 11. Conclusion References Index