Urban rail infrastructures play a key role in ensuring accessibility and connectivity between suburban areas and the city center. However, if not embedded in integrated planning strategies, rail infrastructures might be origins of segregation and urban decay. Many cities are currently building new metro or tram lines in order to get the city center and urban peripheries closer. Only in few cases however, these transport schemes are jointly planned and designed with land uses of urban corridors or station areas they go through.
The aim of this paper is to examine integrated planning processes of suburban areas and rail infrastructures. We conduct the study through the analysis of two rail corridors characterized by different strategies, implementation and governance: the Line 1 of the city of Naples (Italy) and the Zaancorridor in the metropolitan area of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). In Naples, the construction of new stations occurs in conjunction with the renewal of urban areas characterized by high levels of decay, both in the city center and in suburban areas. In Amsterdam, the Zaancorridor transformation is part of a long term planning strategy defined by the Plan Maak Plaats!: to strengthen the role of the rail system as the backbone of regional spatial development.
The paper thus offers an analysis of these two examples, investigating the role of transport infrastructures in the transformation of two different contexts.