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TCI 2015 Overcoming simplistic „urban vs. rural“ and „social vs. economic innovation distinction


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By Frank Waeltring, presented at the 18th TCI Global Conference, Daegu, 2015.

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TCI 2015 Overcoming simplistic „urban vs. rural“ and „social vs. economic innovation distinction

  1. 1. Overcoming simplistic „urban vs. rural“ and „social vs. economic innovation distinctions Frank Waeltring Parallel Session 2.1: Cluster Models Worldwide. Unique Features, Common Challenges
  2. 2. Promoting competitive territorial Living Spaces Overcoming simplistic „urban vs. rural“ and „social vs. economic innovation distinctions 18th TCI Conference in Daegu, 3.-6. Nov. 2015 Frank Waeltring,
  3. 3. ❖ MY KEY MESSAGE: ❖ There is a Risk of taking a too strong cluster and agglomeration approach when we want to promote innovative living spaces! Macro policies Micro world Meso.Inst. Territorial change
  4. 4. The Rural-Urban Differentiation ❖ Classification by the OECD ❖ five types of regions: ❖ Predominantly Urban (PU), ❖ Intermediate Close to a city (INC) ❖ World Bank (2009) ❖ A classification of spaces ❖ Intermediate Remote (INR) ❖ Predominantly Rural Close to a city (PRC) ❖ Predominantly Rural Remote (PRR). ❖ Place neutral vs. place-based international approach discussion ❖ agglomeration advantages of cities vs. space matters/local unique advantages /„creative space making“
  5. 5. Rural-Urban Divide in Europe ❖ Europe ❖ Still high difference between rather urban or rural based population in Europe ❖ Trend in all countries towards urbanization ❖ Population increase in large cities, population loss in medium-sized towns ❖ bridging function of medium-sized towns to rural areas gets weaker ❖ Economic development efforts in cluster promotion focuses more on vibrant agglomeration centers
  6. 6. Rural-Urban Divide in Germany ❖ Germany ❖ Large cities grew around 2,8% between 2008 and 2013 ❖ In medium-sized towns population decreases ❖ Even stronger population decrease in rural areas
  7. 7. Vicious circle of medium-sized cities and rural areas ❖ Loss of employment opportunities (employment rate) ❖ Migration (nr. of working population) ❖ Less local purchasing power (income) ❖ Less demand for local products (turn over of local businesses) ❖ Loss of tax incomes (budget revenues) ❖ Loss of welfare of community ❖ Increase of running costs (infrastructure, health, supporting institutions) ❖ further closing of shops and businesses
  8. 8. Innovative strategies ❖ „Smart city“, Smart region“, „Future region“ etc. ❖ a region as a living space with its unique diverse advantages ❖ rural and urban areas as one competitive space that requires the promotion of different kinds of innovation ❖ search for inclusive strategies for rural and urban sustainable economic development ❖ requirement to combine economic and social innovation promotion
  9. 9. Stereotype example from Germany ❖ 3 medium-sized towns joint forces in structural change process ❖ challenges & potentials: ❖ closing of mine, atom-power station, military base, automobile sector ❖ potentials: tourism, mobility, decentralized energy system, conversion, creation of technology region ❖ Cooperation beyond administrative boundaries middle centre (e.g. Rheine) middle centre (e.g. Lingen etc. ) middle centre (e.g. Ibbenbüren etc. )
  10. 10. The success in creating new innovation space will depend on the city’s ability to follow a dynamic dual- innovation strategy by creating a highly attractive living and innovation space Dual = rural and urban areas as one space
  11. 11. Weaknesses of current perspectives middle centre (e.g. Rheine) middle centre (e.g. Lingen etc. ) middle centre (e.g. Ibbenbüren etc. ) Focus on burning issues, mainly conversion and infrastructure, not innovation Lack of a clear living space orientation with different priorities Lack of involvement of their rural environment as factors of attractiveness and innovation Joint but isolated approach
  12. 12. Social lens Econo- mic lens Environ- ment. lens
  13. 13. Examples of living space combinations Cooperation between medium town cities Application of innovations in rural areas Economic development Green/social development Strengthening of a local/regional innovation system with stronger SME orientation and start-up activities Innovative competence networks e.g. in climate-friendly technologies, construction etc. City Innovation Labs energy-friendly renovation of suburbs and villages New service delivery models e.g. in the health sector Organizational development promotion for NGOs, social and business organizations to increase efficiency and innovation orientation Promotion of creative industry settlement in rural areas Knowledge transfer between innovative and less- innovative enterprises in the countryside Promotion of creative freelancers e.g. with Co-working spaces, matching platforms innovation and info centers Increase education in the countryside through e.g. village academies, mobile laboratory spaces, life-long learning for entrepreneurs & employees Coaching initiatives to assure basic services like small shopping cooperatives in villages, to restructure social organizations and social clubs Mobility projects (e.g. car sharing, e- buses, self-sufficient villages, mobile health centers Promotion of new business models (e.g. in ecological agricultural production, sustainable tourism, creative industries etc.) Rural Impact Labs
  14. 14. My key message ❖ „Promotion of creative economies and spaces require new lenses (beyond the agglomeration lens) “ ❖ Consideration of a living space approach increases potential to combine innovation potentials ❖ Learnings between cities and rural areas can be very rich and provide us with new perspectives and increase of sustainable competitiveness
  15. 15. Thank you for your attention ! ❖ Frank Waeltring,,