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 15: Suburban creativity and innovation

Alison Bain


Cities around the world have become intensely suburbanized. Several decades of profound demographic growth and urban restructuring have rapidly transformed the morphology and use of suburbs; yet, as the chapter argues, urban cultural policy and planning have inadequately grappled with this suburban structural and cultural complexity. Since the closing decades of the twentieth century, a fast-policy model of neoliberal cultural urbanism has been internationally deployed that targets the central city as the key site of creativity and innovation to the neglect of the suburbs. Such culture-led, amenity-driven urban revitalization strategies are formulated to secure competitive advantage by prioritizing the clustering of cultural and creative industries in the inner-city as a way to foster innovation and the symbolic dimensions of creative cities. The chapter reveals that what is often lost on policymakers in this paradigm of prescriptive creative urban policy are the socio-spatial divisions that are accentuated between city and suburb and between haves and have-nots.

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