Policies, Plans and Metrics
Edited by Tan Yigitcanlar, Kostas Metaxiotis and Francisco Javier Carrillo
Chapter 1: Innovating: Creativity, Innovation and the Role of Cities in the Globalizing Knowledge Economy
Björn T. Asheim INTRODUCTION: THE URBAN TURNAROUND In the first decade of the 2000s strong evidence has been presented substantiating an argument for an urban turnaround taking place. While the discourse on industrial districts, clusters and new economic spaces dominated in the 1980s and 1990s (Piore and Sabel, 1984; Porter, 1990; Storper, 1997), in the 2000s focus has been directed towards cities as the node of new economic activities, new forms of collaboration and organization as well as the preferred location of the creative class (Florida, 2002; Storper and Venables, 2004; Asheim et al., 2007a). The academic discussions during the first decade of the 2000s have been characterized by a growing number of researchers arguing that the future competitiveness of advanced, developed nations will be built on diversity and variety and not on specialization. This runs against a traditional cluster policy, which is based on the exploitation of specialized localization economies. Krugman (2010) concluded that his New Economic Geography approach was not any more relevant for analysing developed economies as they had moved towards diversity as their primary competitive strength. (However, it was still useful in the rapidly growing, emerging economies, especially China.) Boschma and his colleagues (Boschma and Frenken, 2010) have demonstrated that firms and regions basing their activities on related variety are the most innovative and competitive. Lundvall and colleagues (Lorenz and Lundvall, 2006) have maintained that firms combining the science technology innovation (STI) and doing, using and interacting (DUI) modes of innovations perform best, and Laursen...
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