Skip to main content

About this book

Economic and financial crises have brought the rise of unemployment, reduction of economic growth and emergence of global imbalances and tensions as countries and regions have suffered the effects of a variety of internal and external shocks. In this context of constant disruption, the scientific community has struggled to provide satisfactory answers to current economic challenges within standard frameworks. Focusing on the interconnections between innovation and resilience, this edited book contributes to a better understanding of how the crisis affects innovation and the capacity of territories to adapt and evolve. It offers both theoretical and empirical contributions that debate the notions of resilience in regional and urban contexts and serve as case studies related to innovation strategies and territorial clusters.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction: Resilience—Concepts and Geography

Resilience, like innovation, is a term that has been increasingly used in the most recent social research for growth and development. This introductive chapter visits the very elementary roots of the concept ‘resilience’ in order to better understand its original frontiers and boundaries in the fields of psychology.
Teresa de Noronha, Eric Vaz, Hugo Pinto

Chapter 13. Conclusion: Resilience—What’s Next?

The previous chapters of this book did not explore the concept of resilience from the perspective of firms. Corporations, including small and medium-sized firms, are those to function as the real engines of the productive processes. They have been under extreme cost reduction policies due to great instability related to both medium-term severe technological change and numerous volatilities expected within the financial markets. To maximize potential cost reduction and mitigate loss, companies are obliged to add flexibility to their whole production process using salary reduction. It is predicted that continuous excessive downsizing will no longer be a sustainable solution for these issues.
Eric Vaz, Teresa de Noronha, Hugo Pinto

Correction to: Resilience and Regional Dynamics

This online version of this book was inadvertently published with the secondary affiliation of the editor. This has now been rectified with the primary affiliation.
Hugo Pinto, Teresa Noronha, Eric Vaz

Theoretical Foundations


Chapter 2. Evolutionary Complexity Geography and the Future of Regional Innovation and Growth Policies

This chapter reviews some key conceptual and practical barriers that have hampered territorial economic development prospects in most advanced countries for some time. It is argued in the paper that influential development thinkers and policy organisations, supranational (UNIDO; World Bank; EU) as well as national and regional became wedded in an unholy alliance of neoclassical economic dogma and neoliberal policy ideology during the period from approximately 1980 to the 2008 global financial crash and beyond to the time of writing (2015). In outline, neoclassical dogma stressed the virtues of spatial ‘specialisation’ as an economic development virtue. The heart of this perspective with its claimed inheritance from Marshall to Arrow to Romer coalesced in the nowadays nearly ubiquitous spatial policy image if not always the reality of “clusters”. The neoliberal accompaniment was that “efficient markets” were superior allocation mechanisms to markets shaped by policies to overcome “market failure”, “adverse selection”, and so-called “agency” problems. The great escape from such cognitive and policy “lock-in” involves demonstration in conceptual and many comparative empirical studies that regional knowledge and innovation flows were no longer, if they ever had been, vertical, linear and cumulative but horizontal, variegated and combinative. In this brief review evolutionary economic geography (EEG) is refashioned as evolutionary complexity geography (ECG) which, with acknowledgement to recent resilience issues, is grounded by reference to exemplars of transversality, which is the name for innovation and knowledge flows policy that overcomes the cognitive and policy lock-ins described above.
Philip Cooke

Chapter 3. Evolutionary Resilience Shifting Territorial Development Paradigms

The recurrence of crises in contemporary societies has made the debate around evolutionary resilience central. Evolutionary resilience is thus the means through which pre-crisis trajectories are resumed, which is the sole purpose of governmental policies. The framework of thought that comprehends the body of concepts of evolutionary resilience, albeit (as we shall see) having distant origins, has become more complex in the last decade to the point of questions being raised about whether or not we are facing a new paradigm that reinterprets territorial development and brings forth sustainability to the level of civilization plan.
In this chapter, we create a path between the beginning of the term’s use (in the etymological sense) and the recent broadening of the “science of resilience”. The interwoven conditions with the paradigm of evolutionary resilience allow the stepping aside of territorial development models from balanced games (more or less unbalanced). In this work, we identify its origin, how this line of research took shape and tried to understand whether there is a plural concept, a conceptual frame, a theoretical framework, a paradigm or a theory.
Carlos Gonçalves

The Multilevel Aspects of Resilience


Chapter 4. Economic Crisis, Turbulence and the Resilience of Innovation: Insights from the Atlantic Maritime Cluster

Innovation is related to economic cycles. Often seen as a procyclical phenomenon, many innovation actors try and succeed in maintaining (and even increasing) their innovation efforts to gain competitive advantage during the crises. In this chapter, departing from the recent developments in regional studies, which understand resilience as an evolutionary capacity of socio-economic systems, we suggest the notion of ‘resilience of innovation’ as the capacity of an innovation process to maintain its function at different levels of operation. Drawing upon the results from a survey on knowledge provision and needs of maritime cluster innovative actors in the European Atlantic Area, our analysis focuses on the evolution of innovation and knowledge services. We provide parametric and non-parametric evidence of the differences in the provision and utilisation of these services and provide econometric evidence of the main factors that influence the resilience of innovation at the organizational level.
Hugo Pinto, Elvira Uyarra, Mercedes Bleda, Carla Nogueira, Helena Almeida

Chapter 5. Innovation, Regions and Employment Resilience in Sweden

Lately, the concept of regional resilience has drawn some attention in academic and policies circles. In a macroeconomic perspective, resilience is essentially conceived through recovery from recession (industrial redeployment, path dependency) or external shock (economic crisis). In this chapter, we will adopt a mix approach of resilience associating economic geography with labour capital. We define the notion of regional resilience through labour characteristics (regional net employment, job accessibility defined as commuting surplus/deficit, employment resilience and labour dynamics) of the six most innovative Swedish regions (NUTS 3 level). We observed those regions under a 10 years period between 2004 and 2014. Our descriptive approach shows the relevance to consider regional resilience from the institutions of the job market in regard of business cycle, i.e. in line with regions’ abilities to adapt to continuous changes over time.
Charlie Karlsson, Philippe Rouchy

Chapter 6. Diversifying Mediterranean Tourism as a Strategy for Regional Resilience Enhancement

Mediterranean destinations that rely on sun and beach tourism—like the Algarve region, south of Portugal—are in a fragile situation. Challenges related to an aging population and climate change (e.g. extreme temperatures and sea level rise) will have consequences on the development of Mediterranean regions. In this context, sea level rise and beach area reduction could have a disruptive impact in these touristic regions. This chapter discusses how a strategy of regional resilience enhancement could allow for a transition and a differentiation from mainstream sun and beach touristic activities to alternative and sustainable types of tourism, such as nature-based and cultural-landscape touring. It outlines a touristic green infrastructure spatial planning approach to reinforce regional resilience as a competitive, cultural and systemic adaptation strategy, diversifying regional development basis overall.
André Samora-Arvela, Eric Vaz, João Ferrão, Jorge Ferreira, Thomas Panagopoulos

Towards Strategies for Resilience


Chapter 7. Design Solutions for Resilience

Design and, in particular, design-research, is able to create the right conditions to engage resilient processes. In this chapter, we will present research projects that have used design strategies to reach different goals—from the development of business and strategic ideas, to the improvement of the quality of life of a neighbourhood.
Many intangible elements that have to do more with social capital than with economic, have to be considered and design methods are very useful in highlighting and explaining what usually stays covered. Narratives, participation, and co-design are suitable approaches to create and make visible connections, which can help resilience.
The focus of this chapter will be on the methods and tools that are typical of design processes used for projects concerned with the involvement of both institutions and citizens.
Davide Fassi, Carla Sedini

Chapter 8. Organisational Innovations for Science-Industry Interactions: The Emergence of Collaborative Research Centres in Spanish Regional Innovation Systems

This chapter analyses the creation and diffusion of collaborative research centres between science, industry and government. These organisations tend to involve a restructuring of networks of existing relationships in a region, as well as a gradual transformation of the strategies or the institutional structure of the agents involved. The organisational innovations undertaken can be interpreted as form of resilience of regional innovation systems in regard to their R&D capacity.
We focus on the case of Spain, especially on the recent role of the regional governments in the promotion of new forms of science-industry collaboration. Our methodology is based on an exhaustive map of existing centres in Spain combined with a survey addressed to these centres and related documents. The results show that not all regions have the same capacity to innovate in science-industry relations despite sharing common problems of peripheral regions. The differences between centres and the organisational arrangements found are considered as examples of flexible structures to cope with diversified industrial partners and forms of knowledge transfer.
Sandro Giachi, Manuel Fernández-Esquinas

Chapter 9. Merging Entropy in Self-Organisation: A Geographical Approach

Spatially-referenced data has achieved a unique place in regional science over the last decades. Much of the evolution Geographic Information Systems and Science have witnessed is due to the advances in the field of geocomputation and categorization of social and economic phenomena over geographical space. One of the traditional ways of analyzing socioeconomic data is by using rigid administrative boundaries, where internal structure, as well as the distribution of phenomena, lead to the disruption of their internal structure. This chapter assesses a more natural approach for data aggregation by using self-organizing maps. It aims to extend the debate on mutual information as well as spatial data, showing how data aggregation directly affects entropy values within the correlation of regions. This supports the identification of a new method that registers stronger correlated areas through a combination of entropy and self-organization, which offers new insights into topological innovation of spatially-explicit data and its integration in the field of regional science.
Eric Vaz, Dragos Bandur

Resilience and Innovation


Chapter 10. Innovative Urban Paradigms for Sustainability and Resilience

Sustainability and resilience perspectives are proclaiming the need of a New Economy, a New Urbanism and a New Mobility. These advances imply deep changes in urban paradigms, namely in the scientific areas of land use, transportation and water planning and management. One requires changes of substantive tenor which consider demand management measures which aim at managing (reduce or reorganize) certain needs (water, energy, new urban space), instead of just satisfying them. These innovated approaches will contribute to reduce the vulnerability of the territories, to conserve natural resources and to avoid environmental pollution. Urban management must contribute to the protection of the atmosphere in the regional and world scales, taking into account, in a complementary way, to the contribution of ecosystems services. The need of reducing the dependence of non-renewable resources is stressed which is one of the requirements to have a climate stability. Disaster risk reduction must be part of urban design and strategies to achieve sustainability and resilience. In these holistic approaches, it is fundamental to develop collaborative and adaptive processes.
Manuela Pires Rosa

Chapter 11. Innovation as Transformation: Integrating the Socio-ecological Perspectives of Resilience and Sustainability

Innovation is a context-dependent and institutionally steered process. The problems that require innovations are today often complex environmental problems. Socially seen, environmental problems are solved through the development of resilient and sustainable social and economic systems. We integrate the controversially discussed ideas of resilience and sustainability in the broader framework of coupled social-ecological systems for the analysis of special forms of agriculture in urban areas. Technical innovations need to be matched with political, economic or civil society action of many actors, institutions or social groups. The social processes of development and change show that innovations require change or transformation of social behaviour of certain social groups and actors with different interests and aims. We analyse the social components of innovation processes, based on case studies of peri-urban agriculture and urban gardening, to show behaviour changes and social transformation processes required for the solution of environmental problems.
Karl Bruckmeier, Iva Pires

Chapter 12. Territorial Innovation Models: Which Consequences in Terms of Policy Design for Peripheral Regions? A Portuguese Perspective

Innovation has been assuming an increasing role in regional policy over the past three decades. Public policies have been moulded by “best practice models” associated with new technologies and successful urban-metropolitan areas. However, the lessons obtained from these examples are seldom convenient to other territorial environments, and less attention has been paid to the role regional policies grounded on the upgrade of the innovation potential are playing in peripheral regions with structural development problems.
The main objectives of this study are to first analyse the main challenges globalization and the knowledge economy bring to those territories. This discussion will be situated in the main theoretical frameworks that may allow a better understanding of the relationship innovation-territory. With an overall view of the Portuguese innovation system and its regional dimensions, insights about the main implications for the design and implementation of territorially embedded innovation policies will be made.
Domingos Santos
Additional information