October 2012

Road & Rail

In this issue

Growth and development are primarily a matter of mobility: mobility of people who can access employment, education, and health, and mobility of goods that ensure global economic activity. In our globalized economy, infrastructure and transport services underpin trade, link production centers to consumption areas, and integrate territories beyond administrative boundaries. Road and rail infrastructure and transport services, physically connecting all of these elements, offer everyone the opportunity to contribute to value creation—as well as to enjoy its benefits. “Mobility matters,” as Marc H. Juhel writes in his introduction, because “roads and railways keep development on track.”

That’s why this issue of Handshake turns to public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the road and rail sectors. Authors and interviewees explain how PPP approaches have changed the direction of their countries’ highway systems and the future of freight rail. Looking forward, the director of MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics makes the case that logistics clusters are permanently transforming the economy, thanks in part to the roads and railways feeding into those hubs. Ultimately, however, mobility makes possible more than a strong economy—it promotes social and political integration. As Ethiopia’s former minister of transport once told Juhel, “Without roads, there is no democracy.”