A large body of research has found that highways and airports have played important roles in promoting development and population growth (or decline). However, little attention has been paid to the possible spatial variation of their effects on population change. This study uses data related to population change in 1980-90 at the minor civil division level in Wisconsin to investigate the effects of highway and airport accessibility and accessibility improvements on population change across rural, suburban and urban areas. The results show that the effects vary across the three area types. In rural areas, highway improvement and airport accessibility promote population growth; in suburban areas, airport accessibility promotes population growth but highway accessibility facilitates population flows; and in urban areas, neither highways nor airports have a statistically significant effect on population change. The findings have important implications for local transport planning, as highways and airports play different roles along the rural-urban continuum.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Urban Studies