Innovation in Peripheral Areas: How Can it be Reconciled with Urban Buzz, Diversity and Tolerance?
Prof. Richard Shearmur (McGill U Montreal)
|Date||Wednesday, 13 July 2016, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm|
|Location||IfL | Schongauerstraße 39, 04329 Leipzig, Deutschland|
The geography of innovation is often reduced to a body of theory which posits that urban agglomeration and clusters are the key to creativity and innovation. This body is based on the work of thinkers like Jane Jacobs and Richard Florida – who argue that creativity is enhanced by urban tolerance and diversity – and on theories developed by economists such as Marshall and Romer – who argue that innovation is enhanced by dynamic externalities and localized knowledge spillovers. The idea of open innovation seems to confirm these theories. How then can innovation in peripheral areas be explained? In this presentation I will go over the key ideas that connect innovation, creativity and urban areas, then examine more closely theories of innovation and creativity themselves. I will suggest that when creativity and innovation are considered as processes, there is nothing to suggest that they can only occur in urban areas: this is because creativity and innovation are in fact multifaceted and diverse: whereas some creative and innovative processes indeed thrive in buzzing urban areas, others do not need it (and may even have good reason to avoid densely settled locations). I will then provide some empirical evidence of the way in which innovation processes differ between urban and non-urban locations, and conclude by reconciling these observations with the reality that – in Canada at least – non-urban locations have tended to grow more slowly than areas in or close to metropolitan areas.
Prof. Dr. Richard Shearmur (McGill U Montreal, Canada)
Richard Shearmur is Professor at the School of Urban Planning at the Mc Gill University in Montreal, Canada. He gained his PhD in economic geography at the University of Montreal in 1999 (Title: Employment growth in the Canadian Urban System 1971-1994: Factors and Policies). His research interests include the geography of innovation, innovations’ local impact, economy and regional development, policies and development factors and applied spatial analysis methodologies, among others.