Cities and Regions in the New Learning Economy

Is there a "new learning economy"? Do regions and cities play new roles in terms of governance and intervention in order to promote learning, innovation, productivity and economic performance at the local level? Such questions are high on the political agenda everywhere. This publication, which views the debate from the perspective of a regional learning economy, clearly answers in the affirmative. Of central importance is the idea that learning regions and cities, which are especially well attuned to the requirements of the new learning economy, may be fostered through the development of appropriate strategies of public governance and intervention. The relationships between various forms of learning and economic performance at the regional level are analysed and provide strong evidence of the importance of individual and firm-level organisational learning for regions’ economic performance. Case studies of five regions and cities indicate that social capital affects both individual and organisational learning.

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