Railway stations and the third wave of knowledge-based urban development

Cities are constantly in the middle of both immaterial and material transformation processes. At the moment, several Finnish cities are re-developing their railway station surroundings due to the changes in railway transportation (high speed connections between cities, changes in freight logistics) and current trends in urban development (densification of city centres). In addition, the areas adjacent to railway stations seem to be interesting spots for urban development, as they offer new possibilities also for local economic development and innovation policies. In this article the current development processes related to railway stations and their surroundings will be analyzed in the wider context of urban development. The basic idea is to recognize the connections between urban planning, local economic development and innovation policies. The nature of this paper is conceptual, but the ideas are illustrated by using the city of Seinäjoki as an empirical case.

Keywords: urban development, railway station, innovation environment, innovation policy