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Discussion of Case Study Themes

Liverpool and Randstad - A Comparison and Contrast

At a Glance
Liverpool and the Randstad are gateways to the rest of Europe's core. The concept of relative location contributes to the cycles of growth and decline that Liverpool and the Randstad experience as centers of trade. Liverpool developed as a trade hub; the Randstad developed first through the production of food, then as an important international trade center. The integration and reprioritization of sea-, air-, and land-based transportation modes are at the heart of the development plans of both areas.

Modernization: A Technological and Cultural Change
Both Liverpool and the Randstad are concerned with the effects of modern development. Each community's experience with modernization, however, is quite different.

Liverpool long suffered from outdated industrial equipment and continues to modernize its port facilities. A lack of modern equipment led to decreased maritime trade and prompted shipping operations to relocate, resulting in a high rate of unemployment in the area. Installation of new equipment has attracted the return of business, but has not restored the employment opportunities that Liverpool's residents knew in the city's heyday. New port technology allows fewer people to handle more freight.

The frustrations of Randstad are a contrast to those of Liverpool. Some in the area seek to prevent the effects of modernization from further altering the lives of its residents. While the government wished to pursue policies aimed at constructing and operating a high-speed rail line between Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam, some residents protested development in their green space.

Trade and Economic Interdependence
Trade among nations is the driving force that will determine the futures that Liverpool and the Randstad face. The process of trade fuels the development of transportation networks among areas in order to speed the flow of goods, people, and ideas. The need to move products and people with increased speed and efficiency leads to the modernization of facilities to meet new demands. Failure to modernize may cause the loss of jobs in an area that is not able to, or not willing to, plan for the future. The links that are created to encourage trade may impact the lives of people living along the transportation routes.

Quality of Life Contributes to Sense of Identity
The people in Liverpool have felt the pains of extended unemployment and hope the concerted efforts of the government and business leaders will bring prosperity. The people of the Randstad have enjoyed a quality of life for many years that is now threatened by modernization in its transportation sector. In both areas, government policies will strive to mediate these competing concerns.


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