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„Social Innovation in Urban and Regional Development“: New publication shows a broader understanding of social innovation in urban and regional contexts

The recently published edited volume „Social Innovation in Urban and Regional Development: Perspectives on an emerging field in planning and urban studies”, edited by Yvonne Franz, Hans-Heinrich Blotevogel and Rainer Danielzyk, focuses on the urban and regional development of social innovations. “People are not even aware that they are doing something socially innovative“, is the introductory sentence and among other things the publication gets to the bottom of this statement.

Social Innovation in Urban and Regional Development Cover

Many practitioners in the field of social innovation are not aware that they are doing it. This is a recurring theme in the field of social innovation research. Although nowadays there is a significant number of literature and research programmes, which are dealing with this issue, there still seems to be a gap between debating and doing social innovation. This publication shows new and expanded ideas regarding this topic.

In the first part of the edited volume, the framework conditions for social innovation, e.g. the role of governance, take centre stage. Three different case studies are presented here: from New Orleans (United States), Lecce and Prato allo Stelvio (Italy) and the Dunkirk region (France). The next part is about the local dimension of social innovation. Case studies are dealing here with the research on graffiti murals in Aachen, community-based sustainability practices in Redange (Luxembourg) and condominium management in Quilicura, Santiago (Chile).

Finally yet importantly, the last part of the publication deals with the regional dimension of social innovation, including a contribution by Dmitri Domanski (researcher at TU Dortmund University – sfs) about “Developing Regional Social Innovation Ecosystems”. The author shows the relevance of this topic for research and practice. Moreover, he looks at the challenges for the further development of social innovation ecosystems.

The publication is available online on the homepage of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. You can find it here.