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Exploring the matter of scale in the relationship between accessibility and population change: road, air and rail accessibility in Finland 1990–2008
Ossi Kotavaara, Harri Antikainen, Mathieu Marmion and Jarmo Rusanen

Since the opening of the Finnish economy during the 1990s, large scale population concentration has related strongly to good accessibility by road network. However, increasing accessibility is also noted to have decentralizing effect to population in smaller scale, by directing population to urban fringe. This study analyzes the matter of scale in the relationship between accessibility and population change in the extent of state with different resolutions; areal units are grid cell based and sizes vary from side length 2km to 24 km. Road network based accessibility is quantified by potential accessibility analysis. Air and rail accessibility is simplified to travel time to nearest airport or station. Analyses are done by using geographical information systems (GIS). Accessibility variables and population change are related by generalized additive models (GAMs). The predictivity of models are evaluated by Spearman rho. The main findings of the study are that larger scale models explain population change more effectively and varying scale does not affect substantially to the nature of relationships between variables. Other interesting findings are the domination of potential accessibility and collapse of railway accessibility variables.

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