JRC and World Bank publish global urbanisation and accessibility map
A new global map released today by the Joint Research Centre and published in the World Bank’s World Development Report 2009 measures urbanisation in the new perspective of Travel Time to 8,500 Major Cities. The map fills an important gap in our understanding of economic, physical and social connectivity.
In the absence of agreement on the meaning of "urbanisation", the European Commission and the World Bank are proposing a new definition based on a unique mapping of “Accessibility” called the Agglomeration Index. In this context, the new map, developed at the JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES), uses travel-time as a unit of measurement, representing accessibility through the easily understood concept of “how long will it take to get there?” Accessibility links people with places, goods with markets and communities to vital services. Accessibility - whether it is to markets, schools, hospitals or water - is a precondition for the satisfaction of almost any economic need. Furthermore, accessibility is relevant at all levels, from local development to global trade.