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Think, connect, resolve

Opinió | 31/07/2008

Successes and shortcomings of the infrastructures in Catalonia

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Tolls, Hispanic gauge trains, disconnection of the water and energy supply. These are examples of historical barriers which have not yet been overcome. It is necessary to review and update the planning of infrastructures, incorporating specific actions and above all solving the problems of connection.

The report published at by Albert Serratosa, a veteran engineer and planner of the territory, indicates successes and shortcomings and some principles for the future. In general, he stresses the updating of the statistical and cartographic information, the planning effort of the 90s, and timely measures such as the integration of prices on the public metropolitan transport systems.

It is precisely in this sphere that the main deficiencies are pointed out. According to the expert, the different levels of authority (local, Catalan, Spanish and European) have not been coordinated very well, and it is the connectivity of networks which requires a qualitative leap. Considerable investments have been made, which in general are positive. Some are pending and some are not foreseen which it would be good to take into account. But the plans and programmes of action would have to be formulated with more overall vision.

Serratosa points out three historical anomalies to resolve, all aimed at suppressing old network obstacles: gradually introduce the Standard railway gauge; replace the physical motorway tolls with other alternatives; and improve the interconnection in general, including the regional links in the supply of water or energy, which have not become highly topical problems by chance.

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