The Vereina Tunnel study is one of three case studies in a joint project of the state, the canton of Graubünden as well as the regions Engiadina Bassa and Prättigau. The ARE Federal Office for Spatial Development OSD (in German: ARE) initiated the project in collaboration with the Federal Office of Transport (FOT), the Federal Office for Roads (FEDRO), the Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA), the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) as well as interested cantons.
The aim of this project is to analyse the spatial effects of transport infrastructures. Reliable hypothesis should be formulated and verified for local as well as national political actions.
- Tripod Analysis (Büro Güller Güller architecture urbanism, „Räumliche Auswirkungen der Verkehrsinfrastrukturen – Lernen aus der Vergangenheit – Methodologische Vorstudie“, Bundesamt für Raumentwicklung, Bern 2003);
- Interviews with important actors and experts;
- Analysis with the related and comparable regions Disentis and Surselva; and
- Statistical Analysis.
Transportation: Chief expectations were met.
Accessibility was massively improved but did not lead to a change in the peripheral situation. There was no identifiable increase in road transport. The Vereina tunnel did not lead to a significant decrease of freight road transport, but freight rail transport increased on a scale which would have been impossible without Vereina. Vereina did not induce any additonal road construction projects. Increased pressure on infrastructure projects did not happen, either.
Environment: There were fears of increased negative impacts on tourism but no reduction in volume was confirmed, but neither occured a boom-like change of demand. The demand for second homes did not increase. The improved air quality is more due to technical innovations than to the Vereina tunnel.
Economy: The potential for day tripping is significantly better exploited than before the opening of the tunnel. But the Vereina tunnel did affect the regional construction activities in a sustainable manner. In general, the accessibility of the region was highly improved.
The question is now how this will affect the key sector tourism as well as the 'Unterengadin' (lower part of the Engadin) as business location and place of residence in general.
- The Vereina tunnel is a necessity but not a sufficient precondition for additional demand in tourism.
- For the business location and the place of residence in the lower Engadin no improvements seem to happen.