|Regional patterns of attractiveness and accessibility to railways in Portugal (1890-1930)|
|This work intends to discuss the idea of regional attractiveness, conceived as the capacity to attract external population, and to verify to what extent this capacity might have been influenced by accessibility to the railway network.
In fact, since the mid-nineteenth century railways were at the base of the entire national system of communications. According to the governmental classification, roads were no more than a complement to the railway network. This classification and the perception of the importance of roads in the overall transport system only changed during the 1930s, reflecting the actual transformation that was taking place. Therefore, to study the mobility of the Portuguese population in the period under consideration (1890-1930) it is essential to understand the effects of the presence/absence of the railway infrastructures in each region, relating accessibility and attractiveness.
For this purpose we will use data on the percentage of native and foreign population, at municipal level, taken from the five censuses published during those years and the detailed maps of the administrative boundaries and railway network we have produced. All the information has been integrated into a GIS allowing an accurate analysis.
* This paper is being prepared in the framework of an ESF collaborative research project called The Development of European Waterways, Road and Rail Infrastructures: A Geographical Information System for the History of European Integration (1825-2005). The authors benefited from research fellowships awarded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) [SFRH/BTI/33380/2008 and SFRH/BI/33382/2008].
** Ana Alcântara, Instituto de História Contemporânea, MSc student in Geographic Information Systems and Science, ISEGI-UNL, Portugal.
*** Nuno Miguel Lima, Instituto de História Contemporânea, PhD student in History, FCSH-UNL, Portugal.