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Kommunikationer, tillgänglighet, omvandling: en studie av samspelet mellan kommunikationsnät och näringsstruktur i Sveriges mellanstora städer 1850-1970
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
1992 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Communications, accessibility, transformation : a study of the interplay of communications networks and industrial structure in medium-sized Swedish towns 1850-1970 (English)
Abstract [en]

This study deals with the relationship between communications networks and economic structure in medium-sized Swedish towns 1850-1970. Medium-sized towns have been defined as those which were ranked 4th-20th in terms of population at two points in time: in the year 1900, when industry had established a foothold and the most important railways had been built, and in the year 1970, at the end of the period studied. This means that the group studied comprises 22 towns. The communications networks which are examined are shipping, railways and roads. The economic structure is studied at various levels from economic sectors to sub-branches.Two measures have been constructed for the purpose of establishing the positions of the towns in the communications networks: accessibility and nodality. The former is calculated on the basis of distance from other towns and their populations. The latter is computed via quantification of the towns' access to the links of the respective networks and an assessment of the quality of these.Statistical relation analyses of correlation and regression type have been the principal method of analysis, which has been supplemented, however, by information culled from urban monographs and other studies.The study shows that there is a relationship between communications networks, primarily the railways, and the transformation of the towns' economic structures during the first half of the period studied. The predominant alignment of this relationship appears to be that the structural transformation precedes the expansion of the railways. Among the various economic sectors, the relationship between industry and the railways is the clearest. The relationship changes direction with the passage of time and can be divided into four phases:1.1850s - 1870s. The towns with strongest population and industrial growth attract railways to themselves and are themselves most active in expanding the railways. A weak correlation between accessibility of towns in the shipping network and industry dwindles away when the railways begin to expand.2.1870s - 1900. The relationship between industry and railways is two-way.3. 1900-1950.The building of the most important railways is completed. Industry continues to adapt to accessibility within the railway network.4.After 1950. The medium-sized towns begin to be deindustrialised as the service sector undergoes vigorous growth. The correlation between industry and railways weakens.On the other hand a supplementary study of conditions at regional level shows that railway expansion preceded structural change. In the rural parts of Sweden the railways were an important driving force behind urbanisation and industrialisation, and they created a special type of new population centre -"station villages", as they were called - which came to function as industrial focal points in the countryside. Many of these station villages rose to the status of towns later on.At lower levels of the economic structure the relationships between economic activities and communications networks are not statistically guaranteed as a rule. This is interpreted to mean that at first it was only large aggregates such as population density and total industry that were capable of influencing railway expansion. In similar fashion the railways later became a factor exercising influence primarily at the macro level, while at the micro level they formed only a base on which a number of other location factors were collected and evaluated before the individual firms reached their decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1992. , 230 p.
Umeå studies in economic history, ISSN 0347-254X ; 16
Keyword [en]
urban history, transport history, infrastructure, structural change, communications network, accessibility, railways, regional development
Keyword [sv]
Kommunikationer, Sverige, ekonomiska förhållanden, historia, 1800-talet, 1900-talet
National Category
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-67928ISBN: 91-7174-654-4OAI: diva2:615093
Public defence
1992-05-22, Samhällsvetarhuset hörsal C, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2013-04-08 Created: 2013-04-08 Last updated: 2013-04-08Bibliographically approved

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Kommunikationer, tillgänglighet, omvandling(21747 kB)241 downloads
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