Brain Train – On the Interplay between Knowledge Production, Knowledge Flows and High-Speed-Rail

The emergence of High-Speed Rail (HSR) contributed to a marked change in the spatial distribution of accessibilities. Subsequently, it enabled alterations of the daily life of economic stakeholders in a variety of countries during the last decades. Accessibility is an important prerequisite for knowledge production and distribution, which, against the background of the increasing knowledge economy, has a potentially strong influence on urban and regional development.

Often, the implementation of HSR raises hopes for regional economic development in the areas connected, while research has mostly been more sceptical towards such effects. Potential impacts can be studied at multiple spatial levels or in a relational view. From a wider network- and relational-oriented perspective, HSR might lead to the dislocation of ‘central’ points to routes of flows. In contrast, others argue that space can become increasingly centralised and hierarchical in the sense of agglomeration economies.

Some previous studies stated hints on the relations between knowledge economy and HSR. We seek to understand more on this relation: Does the presence of HSR stations attract knowledge-intensive firms? How do transport infrastructures influence knowledge productions and flows? Are certain types of industries, respectively, knowledge bases more dependent upon HSR networks than others? Which complementary factors might be needed?

For this Special Session, we particularly encourage: