Understanding the social dynamics of a particular place and their effect on economic growth and expansion is the first step in creating policies that will optimize economic development. This study will examine the link between innovation and enterprise, why creative and innovative thinkers are attracted to certain city-regions and how Newfoundland and Labrador cities stack up against other Canadian cities.
The project is based on the theory that cities are the key source of economic vitality and innovation by looking at three dimensions of social dynamics and their relationship to the economic drive of cities. They are: the social nature of the innovation process, which examines knowledge circulation and linkages; the social foundations of talent attraction and retention, where highly educated and creative workers are attracted to and stay in areas that offer outstanding employment opportunities, a high quality of life, cultural activity, and social diversity; and the degree of community inclusiveness and civic engagement, documenting the impact that new forms of socially inclusive governance has had on the nature of development strategies and economies of these cities.
The project hopes to develop insights into the reasons that innovation and creativity are concentrated in certain locations, and to inform policy makers about the local, provincial and national initiatives that are most effective in shaping a city-region’s economic potential. As well, the research will provide information for economic development policy around initiatives that enhance the circulation of knowledge, that define effective new governance methods, and that shape urban areas. It is part of a national study on how cities use collaboration, creativity and good governance to succeed economically