Innovations and innovative potential are currently in high demand. The discussion in both academic and political circles regards them as being of great importance for economic development. As long ago as the year 2000, the EU Heads of State and of Government adopted the Lisbon Strategy with the specific aim of promoting innovation as a means of developing the European Union by 2010 into the world’s most competitive and dynamic economic area. More recently, and emanating from a largely economics-based discussion, a number of new perspectives have been added to the debate. Attention has been drawn increasingly to social and ecological aspects. To take one example: in the current debate on climate protection, innovative technologies are frequently viewed as essential prerequisites for sustainable growth. Within the spatial sciences, innovation and innovative potential are discussed in the context of creative milieus or knowledge regions.
At its most recent conference, dedicated to „Innovations in Space – Space for Innovations“ and held in Berlin from May 21st to 23rd 2008, the ARL’s Junges Forum (the Young Planners‘ Forum at the Academy for Spatial Research and Planning) dedicated the entire event to this burning issue. The aim of the conference was to analyse innovative spaces and the conditions under which they emerge, and both to explore the question of how innovation can be supported and to examine its spatial impacts.
This collection of working materials brings together the papers presented for discussion by both planning scholars and planning practitioners. As well as touching on various more fundamental issues, the papers relate to four superordinate topic areas:
New uses of space and innovative planning processes
The spatial footprint of innovations.