Handbook on the Geographies of Innovation
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Handbook on the Geographies of Innovation

Edited by Richard Shearmu, Christophe Carrincazeaux and David Doloreux

The geography of innovation is changing. First, it is increasingly understood that innovative firms and organizations exhibit a wide variety of strategies, each being differently attuned to diverse geographic contexts. Second, and concomitantly, the idea that cities, clusters and physical proximity are essential for innovation is evolving under the weight of new theorizing and empirical evidence. In this Handbook we gather 28 chapters by scholars with widely differing views on what constitutes the geography of innovation. The aim of the Handbook is to break with the many ideas and concepts that emerged during the course of the 1980s and 1990s, and to fully take into account the new reality of the internet, mobile communication technologies, personal mobility and globalization. This does not entail the rejection of well-established and supported ideas, but instead allows for a series of new ideas and authors to enter the arena and provoke debate.
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Chapter 9: Innovation and creativity in city-regions

David A. Wolfe


The processes of globalization that have unfolded at an accelerating pace in recent decades have raised important questions about the value of proximity in a digital economy. Yet, innovation and creativity overwhelmingly occur in the geographic context of city-regions, which are consequently critical sites for determining economic performance. Thus, many aspects of the trend towards globalization make cities more, not less, important as principal sites for innovation, creativity and the production of knowledge intensive goods and services.This chapter surveys some of the evidence on the virtues of economic specialization versus diversity for urban economic growth; the emergence of a global hierarchy of cities around the world with ever more differentiated economic roles; the relative importance of greater concentrations of highly skilled and creative workers as attractors for firms and industries; and the relationship between creative occupations and creative industries as drivers of urban economic growth.

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