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

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

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Edited by David A. Wolfe
Innovation, Creativity, and Governance in Canadian City-Regions
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2014
World Rights
392 Pages 1 Images
ISBN 9781442614765
Published Apr 2014
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ISBN 9781442646988
Published May 2014
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442666979
Published Apr 2014
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In a globalizing, knowledge-based economy, innovation and creative capacity lead to economic prosperity. Starting in 2006, the Innovation Systems Research Network began a six year-long study on how city-regions in Canada were surviving and thriving in a globalized world. That study resulted in the “Innovation, Creativity, and Governance in Canadian City-Regions” series, which examines the impact of innovation, talent, and institutions on sixteen city-regions across Canada. This volume explores how the social dynamics that influence innovation and knowledge flows in Canadian city-regions contribute to transformation and long-term growth.

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

David A. Wolfe is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga and co-director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs. He was National Coordinator of the Innovation Systems Research Network.

List of Tables

List of Figures

Foreword to the Series by David A. Wolfe (University of Toronto, Royal Bank Chair in Public and Economic Policy and Director of the Program on Globalization and Regional Innovation Systems)


 Part I: Dynamics of Innovation in City-Regions: Diversity, Specialization and Variety

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Innovating in Urban Economies: Economic Transformation in Canadian City-Regions – David A. Wolfe

Chapter 2 – Systems of Innovation and Contexts of Creativity: An Assessment of the Knowledge Bases of Canadian City-Regions – Gregory Spencer (University of Toronto, Manager of Local IDEAs)

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

Chapter 3 – Innovation and Toronto’s Cognitive-Cultural Economy – Charles H. Davis (Ryerson University, Radio and Television Arts) and Nicholas Mills (Ryerson University, Communication and Culture)

Chapter 4 – Living on the Edge: Knowledge Interdependencies of Human Capital Intensive Clusters in Vancouver – Brian Wixted (Simon Fraser University, Research Fellow) and Adam Holbrook

Chapter 5 – Innovation and Social Actors in Montreal: Inter-Sectoral Changes of Place-Based Dynamics – Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay (Télé-université of University of Québec, Labour Economics and Human Resources Management) and Juan-Luis Klein (Université du Québec à Montréal, Geography)

Chapter 6 – Firms and their Problems: Systemic Innovation and Related Diversity in Calgary – Cooper Langford (University of Calgary, Communications and Culture), Ben Li (University of Calgary, InnolLab) and Cami Ryan (University of Saskatchewan, Professional Research Associate)

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

Chapter 7 – Innovation in an Ordinary City: Knowledge Flows in London, Ontario – Neil Bradford (Huron University College, University of Western Ontario, Political Science) and Jen Nelles (Hunter College, Urban Affairs and Planning)

Chapter 8 – Biotech in Lunch Buckets: The Curious Knowledge Networks in Steeltown – Peter Warrian

Chapter 9 – Innovation Linkages in New and Old Economy Sectors in Cambridge-Guelph-Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) – Andrew Munro (University of Toronto) and Harald Bathelt (University of Toronto, Political Science)

Chapter 10 – Knowledge Flows in the Consulting, Advertising/Design, and Music Sectors of Halifax – Jill L. Grant (Dalhousie University, Planning)

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

Chapter 11 – Social Dynamics, Diversity and Physical Infrastructure in Creative, Innovative Communities: The Saskatoon Case – Peter Phillips (University of Saskatchewan, Public Policy) and Graeme Webb (Simon Fraser University)

Chapter 12 – How ICTs and F2F Mediate Knowledge Flows in and Within Moncton – Yves Bourgeois (University of New Brunswick, St. John, Director of Urban and Community Studies Institute)

Chapter 13 – Networking Patterns and Performance on Trois-Rivières City-Region’s Firms in the Light of Sectoral and Place Characteristics – Michel Trepanier (Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique), Pierre-Marc Gosselin (Université d’Ottawa, Sociology and Anthropology) and Rosemarie Dallaire (Adviser for Innovation and SMEs with Innovation et Développement économique Trois-Rivières)

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

Chapter 14 – Related Variety, Knowledge Platforms and the Challenge for Cities and Regions in the Global Economy – Phil Cooke (University of Wales, Cardiff, Research Professor)


“An exciting collection of essays on what drives change in contemporary city-regions. Rich in examples, Innovating in Urban Economies will be of great interest for those concerned with innovation, creativity, culture, and diversity in Canada and beyond.”

Andres Rodriguez-Pose, Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics

“This volume provides a travelogue of the developmental pathways of cities, offering detailed examples of a range of urban settings. Innovating in Urban Economies is full of valuable insights into the dynamics of regional economic evolution and the role of public policy in fostering innovation.”

Maryann Feldman, Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

‘David Wolfe delivers a masterful collection of essays that investigate various components of urban innovation and economics… This volume could very well offer findings to aid academics and policy makers to better understand economic structures and outcomes.’

David Karas, Journal of Urban Affairs vol 39:02:2017

‘The volume’s empirical richness alone makes it worth recommending and the book will prove a valuable resource for those looking to study, understand, and theorize the future of innovation and resiliency in urbanized knowledge economies.’

Jean-Paul D. Addie, Urban Studies vol 52: August 2015

‘Innovating is a great group of case studies written by some great Canadian experts. Anyone interested in innovation should keep it handy.’

Bradley Keelor, Science and Public Policy November 2015