high Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space: Article about high speed rail comparing Spain and California

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Article about high speed rail comparing Spain and California

"Spain's high-speed rail system offers lessons for California," from the Sacramento Bee. The article makes at least five interesting points:

- that Spain built the system because they wanted to--it was partly built as a post-Franco unification device
- but as a country, Spain doesn't have the population density to support economically many of the lines, based on ridership
- although there has been large shifts from driving and especially flying to rail as a result of the creation of the AVE high speed rail system in Spain (which is complemented by improvements in regional railroad transportation)
- that if you want to build support for high-speed rail, you need to build it first where people will use it, and build from there, unlike the way that construction for high speed rail is supposed to start in California
- that Spain should have prioritized investment in rail, to ensure the system's long term success.

There is a video with the story and this great graphic.

Comparing high speed rail systems, California and Spain

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