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  • "Cities and regions in a changing Europe: challenges and prospects"

    5-7 July 2017, Panteion University, Athens, Greece

    CULTURE,NATURE&COAST:

    THREEDETERMINANTSEMPLOYEDFORTHEREAPPROPRIATION

    OFTHEREDUNDANTRAILWAYNETWORKOFPELOPONNESE.

    Carydi,IOANNAIO,AdjunctLecturer(PD407/80),UniversityofThessaly

    Theofanopoulos,PANAGIOTIS,FormerCEO&PresidentofOSE

    Contact:[email protected]

    Abstract

    Thepaperexploresalternativestrategiesthatwillallowthecurrently inactiverailway lineofthe

    Peloponnesetocreaterenewedvaluefortourismandagriculture. Byexploringsynergiesacross

    different scales it discusses alternative determinants that can become operational for the re

    appropriation of obsolete railway branches. The methodology resides on the comprehensive

    readingofrailinfrastructureasdriverofthewidersociospatialprocess.Byestablishingabroader

    understanding of the regional characteristics that underpin efficiency and innovation within

    combinedeconomicactivitiesoftheregion,theresearchunveilssignificantbenefitsforthecreation

    ofmultiplesourcesofdirectandindirectinvestmentreflectingthemaximizationandadaptationof

    existingstructureswithininertmarketpotentials.Thetrainbyboat,thegreensupplychains,

    theknowledgecorridorand thecruise trainarediscussedas resilientdeterminantswithina

    changing transport landscapewhich aims for adaptability to the current fluctuating social and

    economicstructures.Keywords

    Railnetworks,CruiseTrains,ServiceEcologies,AgroFoodSupplyChains,KnowledgeEconomy

  • "Cities and regions in a changing Europe: challenges and prospects"

    5-7 July 2017, Panteion University, Athens, Greece

    2

    Introduction

    Inaconjunctureoflimitedresources,redevelopmentoftheGreekrailwayremainsoneofthe

    largestinfrastructuralprojectsunderway.Despitethemacroeconomicbenefitsforeseenbypolicy

    makersoverefficientand faster transport infrastructures incorenetworks,peripheralbranches

    with lowmobility interesthavemet thedemiseof reappropriationpolicies.Significantly,major

    innovationpoliciestowardstherail industryare largelyaffectedbynew infrastructure (e.g.high

    speedlines),privatizationandchangesinintermodalfreighttransport(Wiesenthaletal.,2010).This

    observedgravitationtowardsselectivetechnologicalmodernizationhasprioritizedtunnelingeffects

    within wellconnected megacities while it has intensified the abandonment of regional rail

    brancheswithindepopulatedandfragmentedruralzones.

    SuchisthecaseofNWPeloponnese,wherecentrallymanagedplanninginterventionswereleft

    emptyofresilientsolutions,bringingrailwayoperationsatahalt.RailwayplanningontheNorthWest

    axialcorridorconnectingAthenstoPatras(underthelargervisionofacoherentTenTCorridor22)has

    performedformanyyearsunderatechnocraticgovernmentalagendathathasbeenexclusivelyoriented

    towardsthetechnologicalmodernizationofthenetwork.Thistopdownapproachleftuntouchedthe

    widersociospatial interests,widening inequalitiesandfragmentingurbanspace.Further, itbrought

    alterationsandsimplificationsoftheoriginaldevelopmentscenariosresultingintovariousbottlenecks.

    With the aim to challenge this phenomenon, and in the frame of recent bottom up planning

    discussionstowhichtheauthorshavebeeninvolvedandthathavebeeninitiatedbytheETHspatial

    planningdepartment(CODEPATRAS,2015;CODEPELOPONESE,2016,Scholl,et.al.,2016)thispaper

    furtherdiscussesalternativedeterminantsgroundedinthespecificregionalcharacteristicsofthe

    studyareathatcanbecomeoperationalforthereappropriationofobsoleterailwaybranches.

    1 GreekRailwayPlanninginquestionAlthough contemporary research recognizes the need for integrated planning linking

    infrastructuresto innovationprocessesofproductionstructures(Cascetta,Pagliara,2009;Scholl;

    2012),theembeddednessofthenetworkedrailwayparadigmininvestmentsectorsofperipheral

    economies remainspoorly studied inGreek regionalplanning (Giannakou,Natsinas2009;Peric,

    Scholl2016).Eventhoughthe"socialcapital"oftherailway isan indicative issue intheRegional

  • "Cities and regions in a changing Europe: challenges and prospects"

    5-7 July 2017, Panteion University, Athens, Greece

    3

    SpatialPlanningFrameworksacrossGreece,therehasbeenverylittleattentionoverthestudyof

    interactionswith the localregionaleconomyand theirquantitativeandqualitativedimensions

    (Skouras et.al. 2010:2) beside the socioecological impacts affecting the major decentralized

    industriesoftourismandagriculture.

    Transport infrastructure andmodernization towards a sustainable perspective has received a

    detailed approach through TheWhitePaperon Transport (EC, ) and furtherprogrammatic

    actionsinregionallevelresearchviatheTENTFundingProgramaimingtowardsthetechnological

    advancements of themeans ofmobility in distinctive transport categories. In this frame, rail

    innovation towards smartgreen low maintenance, climate resilient utilities, smooth logistics

    services and alternative fuelshasbecome a strongobjective inmajorprojectsof technological

    modernizationofobsoleterailwaycorridors.However,mostofitsdirectivesdonotrelatetoother

    economicpathsandactivitiesoftheregionitisembedded.Eventhoughthecurrentscientificfocus

    presentsnovelaspectstowardsresilientmanagementsystemsandserviceswhichoverlapwithlocal

    stakeholdersandSMEs,itremainsnarrowinthemappingofpotentialsynergiesthatmayconfigure

    novelnetworksbetweenvariousactorsofrelationsinspace.

    Although these approaches offer significant indicators for innovation and sustainable

    development within the transport sector (clean fuels, low emissions etc.), they are weak in

    explaining how peripheral areas in request of spatial reappropriation of redundant builtin

    infrastructures may benefit from synergetic aspects and across different economic sectors

    stimulatingtheneedtodescribenewnetworkedformationsacrossspace.

    Within this frame presented by the technological innovation challenges of the European

    railway transport the condition of the agriculturetourism nexus and the potential competitive

    advantage thatcanemergeover the reappropriationof redundant rail infrastructures,acquires

    particularcharacteristicsandchallenges.Importantpotentials,haveescapedmostresearchefforts

    onthetopic,callingforareabased,multifacetedempiricaldocumentation.

    1.1 BottlenecksinthePeloponneseandaroundPatrasregion

    The railway line in Peloponnese runs through the prefectures of Korinthia, Argolis, Arcadia,

    Messeniaand Ilia,administrativelybelonging to two regions:PeloponneseandWesternGreece

    (Theofanopoulos,2015).In2010,a largenumberofthenormaltrainservicesweresuspendedin

  • "Cities and regions in a changing Europe: challenges and prospects"

    5-7 July 2017, Panteion University, Athens, Greece

    4

    Peloponneseduetoareducedpassengerdemand,mainlyaftertheconstructionofanewhighway

    and the lines consequent lack of financial viability (Theofanopoulos, Frezadou, 2016). More

    precisely,thepartofthemetricgaugenetworkthatwasparticularlyaffectedextendsfromCorinth

    toOlympiaandhasatotallengthof490.5km.Argos,Nafplion,Tripoli,KiparrisiaandPatrasinclude

    some of the major cities that were affected by halted services. Simultaneously, NorthWest

    Peloponneseanditsmajorportcity,Patras,constitutethesouthernperipheralbranchoftheOrientEast

    MediterraneanTENTCorridor22whichhasbeenengagedbyfinancialinstrumentsoftheEUtoboost

    competitivenessanddeveloplean freighttransportations.Thisgrowthstrategy foreseenbyTENT

    policymakers in a macroeconomics perspective has informed much of the Hellenic Railways

    Organizations blueprint but has alsomet the clash ofpriorities bymunicipality officials and local

    stakeholderswhohavegrowndistrustfulandskepticalabouttheserecoursesofthesetechnological

    advancements,denotedalsoofoverdimensionedprojects.Thecurrentinertiaandslowgrowthofthis

    remodernizationprocess, togetherwiththeexpansionof inactiveorobsoletebranches throughout

    Peloponnese,quicklymanifestedthephysicalasymmetriesanddifferentplanningculturesalongthis

    corridor(Peric,Scholl,2016)leadingtowidersociopoliticalbottlenecksinthedevelopmentalaspectsof

    thisprojectwhich further leadus toquestion itsobjectives for an integrated spatialdevelopment

    perspective.AGordianknotinthisstancehasbeenthedebateaboutdevelopingadirectrailhead

    connectionwithPatrasnewportfurtherraisingissuesforasurfaceorundergroundoperationacross

    thecitysurbanfabric.Paradoxically,theofficialstanceofthemunicipalityofPatrashasrequested

    evenmorerobustinfrastructuralprogramstotakeplaceinordertoburythetrainawayfromthe

    citysurbanrealm(Karayiannis,2015) leadingtooverdimensionedprojects.Thisbottleneck,not

    onlyprovesaninfrastructuraldeficiency,butalsorelatestolimitedorstagnanteconomicresources,

    socialoppositions,accessibilityfrictions,unmanagedrunofffromtherichhydrologicalmilieuofthe

    area, raising socialopposition (Drewello,2012) and skepticism. This inability tobargain for an

    integratedplanningsolutionthroughthecrossingofthecityofPatrasfurtherdepriveswestregions

    of the Peloponnese from accessing rail services for passengers and trade towards Athens and

    Piraeus.

    2 MethodologyforanAlternativePlanningApproach

    By challenging the current innovation policies that are largely dedicated to the inert

    characteristicsofleanandspecializedtransportnetworks,thisresearchdiscusseshowastructured

  • "Cities and regions in a changing Europe: challenges and prospects"

    5-7 July 2017, Panteion University, Athens, Greece

    5

    renetworkingofculturalandnaturalassetsalongsidetheredundan

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