The pursuit of new paths for making real sustainable development together with the innovation and change that this imply is one of the main challenges for the economies of the global North and the global South, as well as for the European Union. New and strong chances of growth are at stake when we are led even to envisage a fourth industrial revolution or to think about the development outlooks of the emerging powers. A European perspective would suggest new opportunities for a parallel recovery of our economies at the local, national and supranational level with an approach based on human development. This is why smart specialization strategy (S3) and smart city strategy (SCS) adopted by EU at the beginning of the present decade are important efforts in this direction. At the same time both at the local, national and supra-national level the resistance against change is strong for several reasons. They range from the loss of confidence deriving from repeated crises and failures to the unwillingness to accept change and competition in groups, regions and countries starting from a high level of affluence, to the high economic and social costs of solidarity. In our view, the effort to find new strategies of growth can be better rewarded and their successful application assisted if we engage in an attempt to deepen their scope and try to put them in relation to the different local and national backgrounds. In this volume we engage ourselves in this task, starting from the Italian experience. However, we deem that this analysis can be helpful also for other member countries of EU. Our theoretical underpinning relies on the concept of smartness which is a winning example of semantic container that can be applied to many aspects of economic and social life and ends up in a variety of recipients applications. Moving from the need to reconcile competitiveness and sustainability in different contexts and perspectives, smartness has given origin to a multiplicity of multidimensional recipients and applications. Smart projects and policies can involve infrastructures, lifestyles, institutional processes, methods of analysis and so on. The concept of smartness can be converted into the more definite paradigm of smart development. In this way it can be applied to both the demand and the supply-side of the markets, to static and dynamic features of growth that allow us to detect some recurring and identifiable common elements. In particular, the scrutiny of the paradigm of smart development identifies at least three common elements that underlie its different connotations. First, the centrality of technological innovation and, in particular, the growing potential of ICT. Second, the role of networks, which connect the ICT infrastructure with those intangible assets related to knowledge innovative services (KIS), the organization of knowledge, and cultural activities. Third, the importance of the economic organization of knowledge - in particular, of transferrable knowledge - and human capital - including soft skills - in fostering innovation. A fourth distinguishing characteristic of smart development concerns the bottom-up approach, which leverages on the vocation of each individual component of the system and the communities involved. The need for a bottom-up process is linked especially to the centrality of the phases of listening, participation, co-design, dissemination and exchange of information, and leads to the collaboration between the different agents. This requirement is interlocked with the theme of government and governance, viewed as a system consisting of a plurality of multi- agents based on the effectiveness of the adjustment, the large degree of freedom granted to individuals, on accountability of the actors involved. On such bases we consider smart specialisation and smart cities applications as the two basic pillars of the paradigm of smart development, respectively on the supply side and the demand side of the markets, and interlock these two ideas through their complementarity in fostering smart development in smart communities. In particular, we focus on the importance of the structure of labour markets, human capital formation and utilization, human development and social capital strengthening in shaping smart development path and structural reform policies. On the other hand, two major recipients of the paradigm of smart development are represented by regional and urban systems. There, smartness underpins the need to reconcile competitiveness and sustainability (Herrschel, 2013) in the interventions aimed at promoting innovation and knowledge in the perspective of an inclusive economic development. The attractiveness of the paradigm thus derives from the underlying interlocking between innovation and knowledge, on the one hand, and sustainability and local specificities, on the other hand. A prominent case is the European 2020 strategy that combines smartness with the typical attributes of a balanced development process: sustainable and inclusive. These goals can generate delicate trade-off. A necessary rebalancing imposes to policy makers, the explanation of the strategies of smart development in relation to the evolution of knowledge and its organization as a lack of access to education and training leads to growing inequality based on different human capital. The focus on sustainability also implies the recognition of the crucial role of the local dimension, understood as a complex of socio-economic relations founded on relations among communities, private individuals and local authorities in policy development. This introduction presents the meaning of the “smartness” label and its applications in order to draw the foundations and the distinguishing elements of this symbolic representation in their different fields of applications. This analysis is not only theoretically rewarding, but also practically helpful, since it contributes to avoid ambiguous and confounding uses of abstractions like, for instance, those of ‘innovation sectors’, ‘territory’ and ‘talent’, which are widely spread in contemporary pamphlets of smartness-related themes. In order to reach practical and effective recipes for each distinct topic, two levels of analysis are performed. First, as the allegory of smartness can be applied to both the demand and the supply-side of the markets, we clarify the relationships between smart specialization and smart city and emphasize their cross-fertilization in understanding the useful paradigm of smart development. Second, the paradigms of smart development and smart community, which express actors and objectives associated with smartness, are viewed as the relevant applications for building up a comprehensive synthesis of the concept of smartness. This conceptual framework will be presented to the reader with a gradual composition of the puzzle which correspond to the different parts of the volume. Foreword, Introduction and Conclusion are addressed to explain the general approach of the book and how it has been conceived and achieved by means of a strong interaction between academic and business culture. Moreover, suggestions about how its results can be practically useful and applied at a sectoral level will be offered. Part I is devoted to the conceptualization of the idea of ‘smartness’ as a blending of smart specialization and smart city. The matching framework of analysis is found in the ‘smart development’ paradigm. In section I.1. we explore the origins of the ‘smart specialization’ notion both in the grey literature of high-level consultants as well as in the scientific literature. Apart from the main answers of innovation theory, significant benchmarks are identified in the scientific research on variety in capitalism models and variety in industrial policy. Afterwards, in section I.2., the origins of the ‘smart city’ notion are explored again both in the grey literature of high-level consultants as well as in the scientific literature. The main tenets of innovation theory are explored together with the interpretations of the scientific research on regional economics, human capital and the new geography of jobs. The outcomes relevant within the paradigm of smart development are the derived in section I.3. Part II is devoted to the measurement and application of the smart development paradigm, mainly, but not exclusively, to the Italian context. Smartness indicators are discussed and employed in an in-depth empirical study focused on the European urban framework. Weaknesses and opportunities linked to Southern Italy, as a test for backward regional specificities and perspectives, but also to Central and Northern Italy are explored. Moreover a wide and original international comparison is presented which points out the relevance of the public utilities sector in this domain. Part III is devoted to the assessment of the implications of the previous essays and contemporary debate on the government of smart development. Government and governance at the different levels of administration are addressed to. Suggestions offered both by big private actors and public agencies and governing bodies are examined in order to map the policy agenda which is under implementation in Italy and Europe. Due to their particular relevance and the role played on the supply side of the smart development paradigm, a closer investigation is performed in the case of transport planning and with reference to the strategies of the public utilities’ sector. Bibliographical references, Appendix, Author index and Subject index conclude the book and make it possible to consult it in a very easy way also for specialized reading. The remaining part of the introduction can serve as a guide for the reader and is divided into six sections. Section 2 and 3 concisely review the notions of smart specialization and smart cities, respectively. Section 4 introduces the paradigm of smart development as an ideal interaction between smart city and smart specialization. This paradigm will be further discussed in the volume and it can be considered a novel contribution. Section 5 stresses the role of human capital in smart development. Section 6 deals on how the role of human capital and social capital can be enhanced through government and governance in fostering the paradigm of smart community, another ideal type that will be further discussed in the volume and it can be considered another novel contribution. Section 7 concludes.

Introduction

ANTONELLI, GILBERTO
2016

Abstract

The pursuit of new paths for making real sustainable development together with the innovation and change that this imply is one of the main challenges for the economies of the global North and the global South, as well as for the European Union. New and strong chances of growth are at stake when we are led even to envisage a fourth industrial revolution or to think about the development outlooks of the emerging powers. A European perspective would suggest new opportunities for a parallel recovery of our economies at the local, national and supranational level with an approach based on human development. This is why smart specialization strategy (S3) and smart city strategy (SCS) adopted by EU at the beginning of the present decade are important efforts in this direction. At the same time both at the local, national and supra-national level the resistance against change is strong for several reasons. They range from the loss of confidence deriving from repeated crises and failures to the unwillingness to accept change and competition in groups, regions and countries starting from a high level of affluence, to the high economic and social costs of solidarity. In our view, the effort to find new strategies of growth can be better rewarded and their successful application assisted if we engage in an attempt to deepen their scope and try to put them in relation to the different local and national backgrounds. In this volume we engage ourselves in this task, starting from the Italian experience. However, we deem that this analysis can be helpful also for other member countries of EU. Our theoretical underpinning relies on the concept of smartness which is a winning example of semantic container that can be applied to many aspects of economic and social life and ends up in a variety of recipients applications. Moving from the need to reconcile competitiveness and sustainability in different contexts and perspectives, smartness has given origin to a multiplicity of multidimensional recipients and applications. Smart projects and policies can involve infrastructures, lifestyles, institutional processes, methods of analysis and so on. The concept of smartness can be converted into the more definite paradigm of smart development. In this way it can be applied to both the demand and the supply-side of the markets, to static and dynamic features of growth that allow us to detect some recurring and identifiable common elements. In particular, the scrutiny of the paradigm of smart development identifies at least three common elements that underlie its different connotations. First, the centrality of technological innovation and, in particular, the growing potential of ICT. Second, the role of networks, which connect the ICT infrastructure with those intangible assets related to knowledge innovative services (KIS), the organization of knowledge, and cultural activities. Third, the importance of the economic organization of knowledge - in particular, of transferrable knowledge - and human capital - including soft skills - in fostering innovation. A fourth distinguishing characteristic of smart development concerns the bottom-up approach, which leverages on the vocation of each individual component of the system and the communities involved. The need for a bottom-up process is linked especially to the centrality of the phases of listening, participation, co-design, dissemination and exchange of information, and leads to the collaboration between the different agents. This requirement is interlocked with the theme of government and governance, viewed as a system consisting of a plurality of multi- agents based on the effectiveness of the adjustment, the large degree of freedom granted to individuals, on accountability of the actors involved. On such bases we consider smart specialisation and smart cities applications as the two basic pillars of the paradigm of smart development, respectively on the supply side and the demand side of the markets, and interlock these two ideas through their complementarity in fostering smart development in smart communities. In particular, we focus on the importance of the structure of labour markets, human capital formation and utilization, human development and social capital strengthening in shaping smart development path and structural reform policies. On the other hand, two major recipients of the paradigm of smart development are represented by regional and urban systems. There, smartness underpins the need to reconcile competitiveness and sustainability (Herrschel, 2013) in the interventions aimed at promoting innovation and knowledge in the perspective of an inclusive economic development. The attractiveness of the paradigm thus derives from the underlying interlocking between innovation and knowledge, on the one hand, and sustainability and local specificities, on the other hand. A prominent case is the European 2020 strategy that combines smartness with the typical attributes of a balanced development process: sustainable and inclusive. These goals can generate delicate trade-off. A necessary rebalancing imposes to policy makers, the explanation of the strategies of smart development in relation to the evolution of knowledge and its organization as a lack of access to education and training leads to growing inequality based on different human capital. The focus on sustainability also implies the recognition of the crucial role of the local dimension, understood as a complex of socio-economic relations founded on relations among communities, private individuals and local authorities in policy development. This introduction presents the meaning of the “smartness” label and its applications in order to draw the foundations and the distinguishing elements of this symbolic representation in their different fields of applications. This analysis is not only theoretically rewarding, but also practically helpful, since it contributes to avoid ambiguous and confounding uses of abstractions like, for instance, those of ‘innovation sectors’, ‘territory’ and ‘talent’, which are widely spread in contemporary pamphlets of smartness-related themes. In order to reach practical and effective recipes for each distinct topic, two levels of analysis are performed. First, as the allegory of smartness can be applied to both the demand and the supply-side of the markets, we clarify the relationships between smart specialization and smart city and emphasize their cross-fertilization in understanding the useful paradigm of smart development. Second, the paradigms of smart development and smart community, which express actors and objectives associated with smartness, are viewed as the relevant applications for building up a comprehensive synthesis of the concept of smartness. This conceptual framework will be presented to the reader with a gradual composition of the puzzle which correspond to the different parts of the volume. Foreword, Introduction and Conclusion are addressed to explain the general approach of the book and how it has been conceived and achieved by means of a strong interaction between academic and business culture. Moreover, suggestions about how its results can be practically useful and applied at a sectoral level will be offered. Part I is devoted to the conceptualization of the idea of ‘smartness’ as a blending of smart specialization and smart city. The matching framework of analysis is found in the ‘smart development’ paradigm. In section I.1. we explore the origins of the ‘smart specialization’ notion both in the grey literature of high-level consultants as well as in the scientific literature. Apart from the main answers of innovation theory, significant benchmarks are identified in the scientific research on variety in capitalism models and variety in industrial policy. Afterwards, in section I.2., the origins of the ‘smart city’ notion are explored again both in the grey literature of high-level consultants as well as in the scientific literature. The main tenets of innovation theory are explored together with the interpretations of the scientific research on regional economics, human capital and the new geography of jobs. The outcomes relevant within the paradigm of smart development are the derived in section I.3. Part II is devoted to the measurement and application of the smart development paradigm, mainly, but not exclusively, to the Italian context. Smartness indicators are discussed and employed in an in-depth empirical study focused on the European urban framework. Weaknesses and opportunities linked to Southern Italy, as a test for backward regional specificities and perspectives, but also to Central and Northern Italy are explored. Moreover a wide and original international comparison is presented which points out the relevance of the public utilities sector in this domain. Part III is devoted to the assessment of the implications of the previous essays and contemporary debate on the government of smart development. Government and governance at the different levels of administration are addressed to. Suggestions offered both by big private actors and public agencies and governing bodies are examined in order to map the policy agenda which is under implementation in Italy and Europe. Due to their particular relevance and the role played on the supply side of the smart development paradigm, a closer investigation is performed in the case of transport planning and with reference to the strategies of the public utilities’ sector. Bibliographical references, Appendix, Author index and Subject index conclude the book and make it possible to consult it in a very easy way also for specialized reading. The remaining part of the introduction can serve as a guide for the reader and is divided into six sections. Section 2 and 3 concisely review the notions of smart specialization and smart cities, respectively. Section 4 introduces the paradigm of smart development as an ideal interaction between smart city and smart specialization. This paradigm will be further discussed in the volume and it can be considered a novel contribution. Section 5 stresses the role of human capital in smart development. Section 6 deals on how the role of human capital and social capital can be enhanced through government and governance in fostering the paradigm of smart community, another ideal type that will be further discussed in the volume and it can be considered another novel contribution. Section 7 concludes.
Smart development in smart communities
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Antonelli, Gilberto
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