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Understanding the contemporary history of urban economic change: the case of entrepreneurial innovation

Huggins, Robert ORCID: and Thompson, Piers 2024. Understanding the contemporary history of urban economic change: the case of entrepreneurial innovation. Growth and Change: A Journal of Urban and Regional Policy 55 (1) , e12712. 10.1111/grow.12712

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In the opening decades of the twenty‐first century certain cities around the world emerged as hubs of entrepreneurial innovation. This paper explores this urban economic change phenomenon through in‐depth and comparative qualitative analysis. It focuses on the recent contemporary history of New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Shanghai prior to the global COVID pandemic. Based on an analysis of the drivers, mechanisms and processes of change, it is found that these cities acted as places of possibility for many individuals who previously may have been unlikely to engage in entrepreneurship. The cities were found to have established new development paths through entrepreneurial innovation stemming from co‐creation network dynamics, with key human agents playing pivotal roles. Common elements include the rise of venture capital, the growth of entrepreneurial cultures, and institutional policy changes. Notably, entrepreneurial innovation was found to be closely tied to changes in large corporates. This innovation evolved through the proliferation of new infrastructure such as co‐working spaces and innovation incubators, with each city being utilised as a test‐bed for new ideas. Finally, the emergence of a darker side to entrepreneurial innovation is found in terms of growing urban inequality.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0017-4815
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 February 2024
Date of Acceptance: 18 January 2024
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2024 10:30

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