Delaplace, Marie Bazin, Sylvie Beckerich, Christophe Blanquart, Corinne
Year of Publication:
50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
The East European high-speed rail started in June 2007. It modifies the French and European transportation map and the accessibility of the beneficiary cities. Economic actors in these cities do expect a lot of positive effects: economic dynamism, new firms and population arrival, development of office & corporate real estate programs around the central station, tourism expansion and so on. There are also a lot of High-Speed Rail projects in a lot of countries (Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Portugal, USA, etc.) and a lot of hopes. But the myth according to which transport infrastructures have a positive effect on economic growth has been for a long time challenged by economists. In fact, several researches show that in the field of economic dynamism, no significant effects result from infrastructures alone. (Bonnafous et Plassard, 1974, Plassard, 1977, Offner, 1993, Vickerman, 1991, Bazin, Beckerich et Delaplace, 2006, Blanquart et Delaplace, 2009). It doesn't mean that they don't contribute to new dynamics for these territories, but they aren't sufficient (Troin, 1997). Nevertheless, in some areas, there is local economic dynamic linked to an HSR arrival. These dynamics perpetuate the myth among the politicians that HSR can contribute to local development. Consequently this myth is still very present in political speeches. The aim of the paper is present a review of all the literature, the academic literature but also the political speeches and reports to identify the reasons why such a gap exists between scientific knowledge and these political speeches. We argue that we must to produce scientific knowledge allowing to identify the necessary conditions for a HSR to contribute to a local economic development. By analyzing the arrival of a High-Speed Rail Service (HSRS) in a territory as a service innovation (Delaplace, 2009) that can give birth to complementary service innovations, we will show that the collective appropriation of these innovations is central to generating positive effects.