# 11-104/3 (2011-07-28)

Aura Reggiani, University of Bologna, Italy; Pietro Bucci, Significance, The Hague, The Netherlands; Giovanni Russo, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Anette Haas, Institute for Employment Research, Nuernberg, Germany; Peter Nijkamp, VU University Amsterdam
regional labour market, City Network, accessibility, commuting, German districts
JEL codes:

See also the article in the (2011). Volume 19, issue 4, pages 528-536.

Commuting is, therefore, an important equilibrating vehicle in a city network constellation. Cities act as attractors of commuters, as most economic activity occurs in cities, thus providing a high share of attractive workplaces. Cities that are centrally connected in a network may act as both centripetal and centrifugal forces in the whole system. The present paper focuses on what is named the City Network (CN) approach. A central idea is the accessibility concept, which is interpreted here as the potential of opportunity for interaction, which has a positive impact on economic growth. In our paper, the accessibility concept and the CN concept are linked together by positioning accessibility in the CN system. Since accessibility measures give geographical insights into the distribution of economic activities and the related (dis)equilibrium of regional development patterns, the connection with the labour market is evident, and, therefore, a second focus of our analysis. In an applied setting, our paper aims to investigate spatial accessibility patterns in the main CN in Germany. The 17 districts which belong to the country's CN were chosen from the 439 German labour market districts on the basis of three criteria: (a) their connection to the high speed railway network; (b) the most accessible districts according to previous results (2002); (c) relevant districts for the German economy. Our applied modelling research concerns home-to-work commuters travelling between the selected districts belonging to the German CN, for both 2003 and 2007. Here, a comparative analysis of the ranking of the most accessible districts - also for different intra-zonal travel times - is carried out in order to map out the changes in accessibility between 2003 and 2007, especially in the light of new high speed connections and commuting flow dynamics.