Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policies for Growth
Edited by David B. Audretsch and Mary Lindenstein Walshok
Chapter 2: Civic governance, social learning and the strategic management of city-regions
Recent theoretical and empirical research on innovation systems describes city-regions as the drivers of economic growth and prosperity. This literature underlines the importance of agglomeration economies and proximity as key factors that facilitate the transmission of knowledge among the leading edge sectors that are increasingly concentrated in urban regions (Wolfe and Bramwell 2008). Complex systems of technology, production processes, industrial organization, and their supporting infrastructures of social and political institutions exhibit distinctive spatial characteristics. In the context of rapid technological change and concerns over the globalization of competition and production, this focus on the importance of the urban scale of economic development underlines how the key elements of innovative sectors are locally rooted. Innovation in a technologically complex and knowledge driven or ‘learning’ economy is a social process that builds new competencies and skills, a process that requires proximity or face-to-face interaction and thus occurs most effectively at the regional and local scale. However, those interactions also occur in an institutional context that strongly conditions the pattern of knowledge flows and interactions required for effective innovation.
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