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Innovating in Urban Economies

Innovating in Urban Economies: Economic Transformation in Canadian City-Regions

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    Innovating in Urban Economies
    Book Description:

    With case studies examining cities of all sizes, from Toronto to Moncton,Innovating in Urban Economiesanalyzes the impact of size, location, and the regional economy on innovation and knowledge in Canada's cities

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6696-2
    Subjects: Economics, Geography, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Foreword to the Series
    (pp. xiii-xviii)

    Innovation and creative capacity are essential determinants of economic prosperity in a globalizing, knowledge-based economy. Although the process of globalization has led to numerous predictions of the “death of distance,” growing evidence suggests that the contemporary global economy make cities more – not less – important as sites of production, distribution, and innovation. Over the past decade, recognition has grown that even the most global of economic activities remain fundamentally rooted in city-regions as critical sites for organizing economic activity. More significantly, the social dynamics of city-regions are crucial in shaping economic outcomes (Gertler 2001).

    The interactive and social nature...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. Part I: Dynamics of Innovation in City-Regions – Diversity, Specialization, and Variety

    • 1 Introduction
      (pp. 3-32)

      Innovation and creative capacity are essential determinants of economic prosperity in a globalizing, knowledge-based economy. The creation and diffusion of new knowledge drives innovation in knowledge-intensive production and service activities, which in turn drives economic performance and growth. Although these processes are strongly shaped by national institutions and global knowledge flows, innovation and creativity overwhelmingly occur in the geographic context of city-regions, which are consequently critical sites for determining economic performance. Many aspects of the trend towards globalization makes citiesmore, not less, important as principal sites for innovation, creativity, and the production of knowledge-intensive goods and services. In somewhat...

    • 2 Systems of Innovation and Contexts of Creativity: An Assessment of the Knowledge Bases of Canadian City-Regions
      (pp. 33-56)

      Models of local and regional economic development have generally evolved from neo-classically based cost reduction strategies to high value-added knowledge-based strategies. This typically involves identifying local strengths and building on them through cooperative governance models that seek to transcend divisions between competing firms and municipalities in order to build collective solutions that benefit the local economy as a whole. In this regard a tricky balance must be struck between maintaining existing strengths while remaining open to new opportunities. Jurisdictions that fail in this respect can suffer decline from being “locked in” to a particular technology or industry and as a...

  8. Part II: Diversity, Variety, and the Cognitive-Cultural Economy in Large Cities

    • 3 Innovation and Toronto’s Cognitive-Cultural Economy
      (pp. 59-91)

      The term “creative” is increasingly employed to characterize a broad sweep of novelty-producing industries, regions, cities, occupations, workers, and tasks, but the multiple meanings attributed to the word have caused some confusion. In this chapter we investigate the concept of thecognitive-cultural economy(CCE), a promising framework for apprehending the key novelty-producing and wealth-generating features of the contemporary urban economic and social order, and apply it to the case of Toronto. As laid out by Alan Scott inSocial economy of the metropolisand other recent publications (Scott 2010; 2008a, 2008b, 2008c; 2007), the concept of the cognitive-cultural economy emphasizes...

    • 4 Living on the Edge: Knowledge Interdependencies of Human Capital Intensive Clusters in Vancouver
      (pp. 92-122)

      What place is there in the global structure of innovation for specific locations? We know that innovation is spiky (Florida 2005) – high peaks standing above the deserts that essentially correspond to population geography. However, many of these important places are co-located among large mega-regions (Florida et al. 2008). Taylor (2004) expresses the idea that the global economy is structured around a limited set of global city-regions (in fact mega-regions). Not surprisingly, then, recent trends in the literature on innovation systems has focused on cities and, specifically, on the role and the relative importance of knowledge specialization versus diversity in...

    • 5 Innovation and Social Actors in Montreal: Intersectoral Challenges of Place-Based Dynamics
      (pp. 123-150)

      As mentioned in the introduction to this book, there are debates as to how the economic structure and characteristics of urban economies impact on innovation and knowledge circulation within cities. Indeed, some authors consider that the most important dynamics are created by the advantages that accrue to firms located in dense clusters of similar and related firms – that is, by a greater degree of specialization within city-regions. By contrast, other authors indicate that the potential for innovation is stronger when knowledge circulates through various sectors of activity within a city – that is, greater diversity in the economic structure...

    • 6 Firms and Their Problems: Systemic Innovation and Related Diversity in Calgary
      (pp. 151-172)

      Discovery of oil and gas in the Turner Valley region south of Calgary early in the twentieth century, followed by construction of pipelines in the 1950s, transformed Calgary’s economic, political, and social structures. Alberta went from being one of the poorest provinces in Canada to the richest over several decades. Exploration and development in oil and gas have largely spurred the rapid growth of the Calgary census metropolitan area (CMA). Through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Calgary’s energy sector attained critical mass, attracting the sector’s national head offices. Now advertised as “Canada’s Global Energy Centre,” Calgary is home to the...

  9. Part III: The Specialized Characteristics of Innovation in Medium-Sized Cities

    • 7 Innovation in an Ordinary City: Knowledge Flows in London, Ontario
      (pp. 175-196)

      A key goal of economic development is the creation and perpetuation of vibrant and successful metropolitan economies. Policy orthodoxy on the best way to promote prosperity vacillates periodically between strategies that recognize the benefits of concentration and specialization and those rooted in industrial diversity. The range of policy interventions has expanded to include measures that enhance the cultural and environmental quality of place. Across the strategies and debates two central messages are clear. First, such activity is designed to stimulate and capture the benefits of the knowledge flows that fuel innovation. Second, the innovative capacity of a city or region...

    • 8 Biotech and Lunch Buckets: The Curious Knowledge Networks of Steel Town
      (pp. 197-218)

      Hamilton, Ontario, historic home to the Canadian steel industry, represents a curious case study with respect to the role of knowledge networks and the social process of innovation. It has a strong, unitary industrial identity that qualifies it as a classic in specialization, displaying all the potential gains and dangers of specialization tied to the life cycle of one industry. However, with the emergence of the health sciences complex in the west end of the city, a diversity theme has also emerged. This chapter suggests that the special case of Steel Town strongly confirms the general themes of this volume....

    • 9 Innovation Linkages in New- and Old-Economy Sectors in Cambridge-Guelph-Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario)
      (pp. 219-244)

      It is now widely believed that knowledge and innovation are key resources for regional economic success (Lundvall and Johnson 1994), and that learning is the decisive process that stimulates knowledge creation and innovation (Lundvall 1988; Malecki 1991). Under these circumstances, regional well-being depends on the capacity to stimulate processes of interactive learning, networking, and innovation at the local level (Cooke and Morgan 1998; Gertler 2004). In this context, the region around the mid-sized Ontario cities of Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener, and Waterloo is regarded as one of the model economies for Canada – a claim based primarily on the region’s success...

    • 10 Knowledge Flows in the Consulting, Advertising/Design, and Music Sectors in Halifax
      (pp. 245-266)

      Halifax Regional Municipality – alternatively called Halifax or HRM – is the largest city-region in Atlantic Canada, with a population of around 360,000. While its population and income growth rates lag those of dynamic larger centres such as Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and Ottawa (Filion 2010), Halifax has outpaced other cities in Atlantic Canada. The Conference Board of Canada identified Halifax as one of nine hub cities driving the economy in the country: Halifax is the only hub that serves a region – Atlantic Canada – rather than a province (Lefebvre and Brender 2006). The city has benefited from its capacity...

  10. Part IV: Innovation for Survival or Growth in Canada’s Small Cities

    • 11 Social Dynamics, Diversity, and Physical Infrastructure in Creative, Innovative Communities: The Saskatoon Case
      (pp. 269-291)

      City-regions are increasingly seen to be the engines of economic growth and innovativeness for the nation state. There is a strong debate about whether specialization or diversity is the key to success (e.g., Jacobs 1985 and Krugman 1998). One of the key questions in this debate is to what degree the social dynamics, economic, social, and cultural diversity, and physical infrastructure of a city-region contribute to its success in the knowledge economy. Saskatoon presents an interesting case study, as both its history and many of its economic and social dynamics have been assessed using a mixture of tools (e.g., Dobni...

    • 12 How ICTs and Face-to-face Interactions Mediate Knowledge Flows in Moncton
      (pp. 292-317)

      Space matters to innovation in different ways. On the one hand, information and communication technologies (ICTs) are reshaping our economic landscape. ICTs create new tasks, jobs, firms, and industries and, once mastered, decrease the costs and time of production, distribution, and communication. Increasing bandwidth, wireless capabilities, and Internet-enabled applications augment opportunities to produce, to exchange, and to consume products, experiences, and knowledge. Businesses use Skype for videoconferencing to enhance communication while trimming travel budgets. They use YouTube for online training, product demos, and tutorials. Many adopt Twitter to enable instant communication throughout the organization, to interact with customers, and to...

    • 13 Networking Patterns and Performance of the Trois-Rivières City-Region’s Firms in the Light of Sectoral and Place Characteristics
      (pp. 318-350)

      Innovation, as much for large companies as for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is of great importance in the economy of knowledge and information of the twenty-first century (OECD 2001). To innovate, firms must exploit not only their internal resources and capacities, but also, in a complementary way, their external environment (pittaway et al. 2004; Calantone, Cavusgil, and Zhao 2002). Thus, R&D, the adoption of new ways of doing things, new processes, or product innovations are often the result of the “interactive” exploitation of the resources and capacities both internal and external to the firm (Becheikh, Landry, and Amara 2006;...

  11. Part V: The Global Challenge for Innovation in Canadian City-Regions

    • 14 Related Variety, Knowledge Platforms, and the Challenge for Cities and Regions in the Global Economy
      (pp. 353-368)

      Over the past decade, two major research projects have been undertaken by members of the Innovation Systems Research Network to investigate the key innovation challenges facing cities and regions in the global economy. The first of these projects focused on the role of local and regional clusters in the Canadian economy, while the second project investigated the contribution of innovation, creativity, and governance to the economic dynamism of city-regions in Canada. From the outset, ISRN research was grounded in some of the key concepts that emerged from regional systems thinking, which grew out of a dawning recognition, in academe and...

  12. Contributors
    (pp. 369-372)