New thesis examines the link between innovation and urban development

In the coming years large areas in central Gothenburg are going to be built upon. The ambitions are high and River City Vision is clear: The city should be a test bed for experiments and thus find new ways to build a sustainable city. But how do we get a city development in Gothenburg that fosters innovation and where multiple stakeholders are given the opportunity to develop new ideas? Where each new project rests on the lessons learnt from already implemented urban development projects? These and other issues are the Vinnova funded project the Gothenburg Innovation Platform working on.

A thesis has been written as part of the project, linking theories of innovation and urban development. The thesis demonstrates the importance of working with mixed groups when promoting innovation and how the urban development could work in a structured manner with the following innovation processes:

1. Formulate a problem area
2. Create vision
3. Idea generation
4. Experimentation
5. Implementation
6. Evaluation and diffusion

The first innovation process is to identify the problem area. Thereafter a number of stakeholders are involved in developing a vision promoting a long term solution. Idea generation and experimentation is the next innovation process. The solutions are tested and further developed possibly through different projects. Idea generation and experimentation are processes which are repeated if necessary. The ideas that have a market value are taken on to the implementation stage. The last step is to evaluate the process and diffuse and spread the knowledge. The last four processes are open and additional parties can be involved to facilitate the process.

The thesis is written by Elin Lindahl and Hanna Rydehell, Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering on behalf of Mistra Urban Futures as part of the Gothenburg Innovation Platform. The work has been carried out together with SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden.

Gothenburg Innovation Platform

Innovation Platform is a collaboration between civil society, business and academy in Gothenburg to create an internationally recognized innovation platform for sustainable and attractive urban development. Through world-class excellence the aim is to be a brave role model that tests new models, processes and technologies.
The project was initiated by the City of Gothenburg, Johanneberg Science Park and Mistra Urban Futures. The three are also responsible for managing the platform.

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Gothenburg Innovation Platform
Download a summary of the thesis below (Full text version available in Swedish)



  • Hållbara urbana omställningar - En modell för att förstå framväxten av innovation i hållbar stadsutveckling
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