Summary - TST 23


TST 23

Christophe Bouneau
Les trajectoires d’innovation des transports et des services urbains en Europe occidentale aux XIXème et XXème siècles: incertitude et irréversibilité. Introduction.

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Key Words: Ports, Buses, Water supply, Electricity supply networks, Infrastructures, Tourism, Advertising.

[ Abstract ]

This special issue Innovation paths of transport networks and urban services in Western Europe in XIXth and XXth Century: uncertainty and irreversibility figures as a scientific result of the interdisciplinary and international research program “Innovation paths: from the diversity of experiences to the building of patterns”. It gathers five selected contributions covering a rather large scope within transport and urban services economy: top commercial ports, bus networks, urban supply of water and energy, commercial lighting advertising and the genesis of a coastal touristic regional complex of innovation. Addressing this continuous dialog between uncertainty and irreversibility, this special issue reveals three key factors. Firstly it confirms the major role of social innovative networks and of the international circulation of knowledge and experts within the path dependancy process leading to locked in situations. Secondly it shows the key role of political authorities regarding the different types of innovation paths, especially local authorities. At last it underlines the symbiosis between the paths of technical and commercial choices and on the other hand the process of urbanization, particularly regarding its selective dynamics of metropolisation, linked to the expansion of urban up-to-date, even futurist, networks.