A Fourth Way : the role of cultural heritage in embedding place-driven innovation

Devaney, C 2021, A Fourth Way : the role of cultural heritage in embedding place-driven innovation , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Set against an already powerful context of political instability and global economic uncertainty, and further intensified by the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the paradigm of ‘place’ which, prior to the pandemic, had seen a rapid incorporation into all levels of policy making and practice, has prevailed through an intense period of instability, scrutiny and challenge. In the context of EU policy, the notion of ‘place’ has been particularly prevalent in driving the development of 'Smart Specialisation' strategies (S3), a programme based primarily on identification and assertion of unique regional assets as drivers of innovation and regional competitiveness. Interpretation, development and evaluation of place in the context of S3 has been previously dominated by two conceptually static definitions: a physical understanding of place as a defined, geographic territory and a socio-economic understanding of place as a self-contained economic and social system. Comparative assessment of regional competitiveness, reflecting the norms of economic practice, has tended to rely on productivity measures such as GDP. In the wake of the pandemic and a growing recognition of the limitations of competitive practice (as opposed to collaborative approaches), and a widespread acknowledgement of the associated limitations of productivity and GDP as performance measures, this thesis introduces cultural heritage as a third and critical criterion in realising a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of place. Through pragmatic application of mixed methods, the research seeks to interrogate the inter-relationship between place and innovation, exploring the place/innovation nexus through a cultural heritage lens. Further exploration of place as a driver for sustainability and resilience catalyses a necessary redefinition of economic performance and, by extension, of what is meant by economic success. Integrating factors of space and time, and incorporating characteristics of light and sound, the research proposes a new and dynamic conceptual model for innovation economies founded on the notion of 'place-driven' development and collaborative action toward a shared mission of sustainability, conceiving of a new ‘four-dimensional’ economic paradigm and proposing a new assessment framework within which the fourth space is ‘unlocked’ by the foregrounding of cultural heritage in the place-driven paradigm, and through which a whole series of previously accepted tripartite models can be elevated; presented collectively as ‘A Fourth Way’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Trillo, C (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: CLARE Devaney
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 14:54
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 14:47
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/62158

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