Daniela- Luminița CONSTANTIN
Professor at the Department of Administration and Public Management, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies; Bucharest; Romania
Corina- Cristiana NASTACĂ
Teaching Assistant at the Department of Administration and Public Management, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies; Bucharest; Romania
MSc – Administration and Public Management,Faculty of Administration and Public Management, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies; Bucharest; Romania
Territorial cohesion is a concept that has played an important role in the European authorities’ agenda since the 1990s, being linked to some of the main objectives defined in various EU Treaties (i.e. those envisaging flows, connectivity, spatial nodes, etc.). In this respect, the present research aims to explore territorial cohesion in relation to accessibility so as to provide a comprehensive picture of this subject, employing for the empirical study the Romanian railway system. The main objective is to examine how the Romanian railway infrastructure influences territorial cohesion through regions’ accessibility to infrastructure and rail transport services. The research methodology consists of an exploratory study conducted using secondary data analysis. The collected data have been used to compute a set of indicators (the Engel ratio, the Goltz ratio, and the Hansen accessibility coefficient) that allows the analysis of the degree of population accessibility to railway transport, based on the characteristics of the rail transport service (distance, duration, and cost of travel). The study has revealed that the Romanian railway infrastructure does not have a positive contribution to reducing disparities and strengthening territorial cohesion. Although it is sufficiently extensive, it has uneven growth and low accessibility due to low travel speeds and long travel times. Regarding accessibility, the presence of at least two types of disparities – inter- and intra-regional, has been revealed, due to the fact that disparities in accessibility firstly manifest at the regional level and increase in intensity at the county level.
Keywords: territorial cohesion, population accessibility, railway network, inter- and intra-regional disparities, Romania
JEL classification: R1, R4, R42