Defining a new urban economic geography of innovation and the implications for local economic development. A case study of Rome.

Authors: Stefania Fiorentino*, University College London
Topics: Economic Geography, Planning Geography, Regional Geography
Keywords: local economic development, innovation, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial ecosystems
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Hampton Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Globalization and the new communication technologies have imposed a number of changes in the labour market and the dynamics of local economic development. Those shifts have corresponded to the emergence of a new geography of innovation focussing on cities. This paper analyses the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the city of Rome to provide an overview of such geography, populated by makers, shared service accommodations and start-up. Empirical evidence of the new distribution of innovative businesses is provided that proposes an incremental contribution to agglomeration theory integrating concepts from the cognitive-cultural capitalism framework. A case study design, with a qualitative data collection identifies maps and describes the key actors, firms and features of this new entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as the role played by institutions in its genesis. Findings suggest that this urban revival is restricted to small businesses in their start-up phase, for whose establishment trust relations and local embeddedness are still crucial. However, the new urban entrepreneurial ecosystems also disguise an underlining lagging socio-economic context. Knowledge of the new stakeholders of this urban entrepreneurial ecosystem will guide future policy-making and researches on the new typology of agglomerations.

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