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This paper investigates the impact of high-speed railways (HSR) on urban innovation levels by improving intercity accessibility. We employ prefecture city-level data within three megacity regions in China from 2009 to 2018. Using the number of invention patents granted as a proxy for the innovation level of a city, we find that HSR facilities significantly improve urban innovation levels through better regional intercity accessibility and that there is a diminishing effect as commuting timedoi:10.3390/land11081132 fatcat:szglubkwhvhitdlbgfodzpfp6a