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Constructing Sustainable Regional Advantage: Low Carbon Innovation and the Built Environment in Wales

De Laurentis, Carla ORCID:, Eames, Malcolm, Wang, Yan and Hunt, Miriam 2011. Constructing Sustainable Regional Advantage: Low Carbon Innovation and the Built Environment in Wales. Presented at: 6th International Seminar on Regional Innovation Policies - Constructing Sustainable Advantage for European Regions, Lund, Sweden, 13-14 October 2011.

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The aim of this paper is twofold: i) to advance the theoretical understanding of processes of systems innovation and transition in a regional context; and, ii) to provide readers with practical examples of attempts to constructing sustainable competitive advantage through a case study of low carbon transition policy in Wales. Innovation and regional development scholars (Bristow, 2005; 2010; Lawton-Smith et al. 2003; Morgan, 2004) have, in recent years, emphasised that regional development trajectories too often focus on a narrow discourse of competitiveness and creating economic advantage through regional productivity performance. By contrast socio-technical transition literature (Geels, 2002, 2004; Kemp and Rotmans 2005) seeks to link the notion of innovation with the broader goal of sustainable development. However, both the dominant heuristics frameworks within the sustainability transitions literature (the Multi-Level Perspective (MPL) and Technological Innovations Systems (TIS) approaches) have been criticised for lacking an adequate conceptualisation of space (Coenen et al, forthcoming) and understanding of the role of place in processes of transition (Hodson, and Marvin, 2009). In this paper, the authors suggest that adopting a modified regional innovation system perspective could help to better understand the dynamics of sustainable transitions and the critical role of Regions as purposive actors engaged in steering and nurturing bottom up localised learning processes and fostering network development. The paper focuses on Wales, in particular the Welsh Government's policies for low carbon innovation in the built environment, as concrete example of an attempt to create sustainable advantage in a European Region.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: geographies of transition, regional innovation systems, built environment
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:07

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