CODE24 intends the interconnection of economic development. spatial. transport and ecological planning. The projects area of Corridor 24 covers a number of the most important economic regions in Europe within this major European North-South transport corridor across NL. D. CH and IT linking the North sea port Rotterdam and the Mediterranean port of Genoa. Its catchment area comprises 70 million inhabitants and operates 50% (700 million tons/year) of the north-south rail freight. The opening of the Lötschberg tunnel in 2007 and the Gotthard tunnel (2017) and the parallel expansion of the feeders will further improve the importance of Corridor 24 as milestones. Nevertheless some major bottlenecks and a lack of transregional coordination still threaten the potential of the axis. limiting its economic and spatial development. Hence the project strives to provide planning tools and tailor made solutions to remove major bottlenecks and enable pro-active stakeholder participation. CODE24 aims at a coordinated transnational strategy to strengthen and to develop the corridor. The overall objective is to accelerate and jointly develop the transport capacity of the entire corridor by ensuring optimal economic benefits and spatial integration while reducing negative impacts on the environment at local and regional level. By focussing on regional aspects in the corridor area and joint development strategies. the project will strengthen the position of regional actors and stakeholders within the entire Corridor. CODE24 adds the regional development perspective as a third pillar complementary to the political pillar with the ERMTS Corridor Coordinator and the EEIG formed by D. F. NL. B und CH railway infrastructure companies coordinating infrastructure management aspects.. This intends to be sustained by the establishment of an EGTC as major project aim. Due to its complex & multifunctional approach we apply for the project as a Strategic Initiative.
A series of key actions have contributed to outlining an interregional development strategy including shared standpoints on all major issues, e.g. long and short distance public transport, freight traffic and logistics facilities, areas requiring strategic spatial development actions or environmental interventions:
- A Corridor Info System providing the missing spatial and temporal overviews was set up: code24.ethz.ch/cis/
- A test planning procedure was carried out in the Wesel area, to survey the different development options and verify their feasibility.
- Collaborative assessments of 3 alternative development scenarios were carried out. Besides a recommendation on next activities along the corridor, a need to concentrate on 4 sections of the corridor (Oberhausen-Emmerich, Frankfurt-Mannheim, Basel-Mittelland, Ticino-Genoa) has been identified.
- A prototype online rail freight spot exchange was developed and tested by the project partners. 2 operators further developed the online freight exchange and launched the platforms: www.railcargo-online.com and www.freit-one.de
- A series of Regional Round Tables along the corridor were organised, linking the project to regional politics and economy
- An overview of environmental compensation measures along the corridor was compiled. It will be part of a toolbox with useful planning tools and best practice examples of environmental compensation measures for major infrastructure projects within the participating countries.
- A prototype auralisation tool ("visualisation for the ears”) was developed. It will be part of the planners toolbox for noise protection.
- Case study on logistics cluster potentials for selected regions along the corridor was carried out
- A feasibility study of a shuttle train Italy-Germany was carried out.
- The CODE24 project planned and set up a mobile exhibition on the project work in the various fields of corridor development. Until December 2014, it will be on tour at several locations along the corridor.
These and further activities in CODE24 shall finally lead to a set of instruments and tools providing support for regional actors in forecast and planning, preparation of infrastructure investments and in public relations seeking for public acceptance. CODE24 paves the way for a sustainable framework for interregional cooperation along the route.
Already today, the project is seen as a representative of the regions along the corridor Rotterdam-Genoa. Requests from various organisations (ministries, municipalities, chambers of commerce, NGOs, etc.) show that there is a need for an organisation, bundling the interests of the regions in the corridor. This in turn confirms the efforts of the project partners to establish a CODE24 EGTC (European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation), that shall be the common platform of the stakeholders of the corridor Rotterdam-Genoa to promote the corridor development. The founding ceremony of the EGTC will be held at the final conference of the project on 20 November 2014 in Mannheim.