From Sea to Sea: Changing a Trade Route and Transit Area into a Common European Living Space
  • Hansjörg DrewelloEmail author
  • Bernd Scholl
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


The Rhine axis and the adjoining trade routes southwards over the Alps to the Mediterranean are among the most important transport routes in Europe. The development and significance of this trading route has inspired the sciences as well as current policy-making. The French geographer Roger Brunet explains that this link has arisen from a fundamental ‘north-south dissymmetry’ of the European cultural landscape, starting as early as Roman times: the evil barbarians in the north facing the civilized cultures of the Mediterranean states. In economic terms, this inequality was manifested in the range of different resources: in the north amber, wool and wood and in the south spices, silk and precious stones, but also bronze weapons, often imported from Asia or the Near East. The resulting exchange of goods, technologies and culture began in the Bronze Age and was intensified up until the twelfth century CE on the shortest route between the Mediterranean and the North Sea. Between today’s North Sea ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam and the ports of the Ligurian coast in northern Italy, one finds the highest concentrations of settlement activity and population, wealth, infrastructure and traffic in Europe, today called the Rhine–Alpine Corridor. This article illustrates the approach of the INTERREG project CODE24 dealing with direct negative consequences of the economic strength of the corridor, such as rising land prices, increased pollution, formidable traffic problems and further urban sprawl outside outside of the core cities.


Regional Planning Access Route Regional Accessibility Study Segment Base Tunnel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences KehlKehl am RheinGermany
  2. 2.ETH ZürichInstitute for Spatial and Landscape DevelopmentZurichSwitzerland

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