A study on the improvement of the secondary road network of the centro region of Portugal

Bruno F. Santos*, António P. Antunes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In last three decades, very large investments were made in the transformation of the main road networks of Portugal and Spain. In contrast, during the same period, little has been done with regard to the secondary roads. In this paper, we present a study aimed at determining the best way of improving the secondary road network of the Centro Region of Portugal. This is one of the regions of the country where some accessibility problems persist. The study was made using a multi-objective road network planning model. In relation to the road network planning models available in the literature, the one we applied has a number of important, distinctive features. The objectives considered were efficiency (evaluated by four different measures: average travel speed; weighted travel cost; consumers' surplus gains; and weighted aggregate accessibility), equity (evaluated by the Gini Index), and energy (evaluated by fuel consumption). An overview of the measures used in the past to evaluate road network efficiency and a discussion of the implications of adopting the four efficiency measures considered are also provided. The results for the Centro Region of Portugal indicate that solutions can be significantly different when using each of the efficiency measures. As a conclusion of this study, a brief reflection about how to incorporate the perspectives, interests and budgets of different countries in a border network is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Estudos Regionais
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessibility
  • Multi-objective approach
  • Optimization
  • Road network planning


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