Urban Green Innovation: Public Interest, Territory Democratization and Institutional Design

Urban Green Innovation: Public Interest, Territory Democratization and Institutional Design

José G. Vargas-Hernández (University Center for Economic and Managerial Sciences, University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico) and Karina Pallagst (Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/IJESGT.2020010104
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This article analyzes the elements of urban green innovation based on the public interest, decentralizing the infrastructure to democratize the territory and innovating the institutional design to address the complexity of the challenges in cities. The method employed is the critical analysis supported by a review of the literature and consulting experts in the field. It is concluded that the urban green innovation capacity planning has a critical role in urban innovation development in specific areas of economic growth, social inclusion and equality, environmental sustainability, health, education, business, etc. To achieve these aims the propose actions are required.
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Cities are very different lively ecosystems brooding places of urban innovation, imagination and creativity. Cities shape and are shaped by the vision of urban green innovation ecosystem elements that anchor investments into environmental and sustainable development. Larger cities generate more innovations because the interactions between people socially distant to each other and weak ties, aggregating information when they meet (Arbesman, Kleinberg, and Strogatz, 2009; Granovetter, 1973). Large cities have more educated and transient people (Arbesman et al., 2009).

Urban green innovation may have the objective to improve the high technology and services business labor market while restructuring old urban industrial and shrinking areas creating new urban development mixing economic, science, media, leisure and living activities. Green innovative technologies processes supporting the green urban environment may become more complex when affecting the pace of changing the city. Urban green innovation challenges sustainable and environmental development of the city at various scales and across sectors. The multi-level conceptual analysis of urban green innovation takes into consideration the micro, meso and macro levels the corresponding niche-innovations, sociotechnical regimes and sociotechnical landscapes.

Defining need of urban green innovation is a first step required to advocating investment in specific local spaces and areas and encouraging external funding support. The intention to introduce urban green innovation requires an enhanced level of corporate governance environmental responsibility and sustained level of implementation of the city’s environmental strategies and policies to put urban green projects into practice and overcoming of environmental challenges and risks. Integrating environmental sustainability, economic growth and social development issues into urban green innovation into an in-depth approach represents a challenge. Other innovative urban green projects are related with alternative and renewable energy saving buildings, neighborhoods and spaces.

There are different approaches can be used, each one with different reasons and ends, for example: radical versus incremental, environmental performance, etc. Urban green innovation essentially intents to respond to the environmental changes and new societal expectations, integrate sustainability issues into the achievement of economic growth, social development, environmental sustainability, community welfare and good.

Urban green innovation practices contribute to sustainable urban planning of infrastructure and urban green areas. The cities and urban undertakings are innovation hubs for urban green areas with relevant impacts on economy, technology, social, organizational, etc. Urban green areas are a potential testing ground for innovations in several issues and disciplines. Urban green areas are hot spots for green innovation (Burch and De Luca, 1984; Krott, 1998). Innovation can be social, technical, socio-technical, ecological, socio-ecological and environmental.

The urban innovation ecosystem has the levels of interaction shaping, implementing and operating. The urban plan based on an urban green innovation ecosystem is interconnected and supported by a network of organizations, firms, local government, educational centers, communities, etc., aimed to create an inclusive economy based on innovation and encouraged by local business to make local improvements. The urban green innovation ecosystem is interconnected and supported by a network of communities, neighborhoods, social organizations, business firms, local governments and authorities, educational and research centers, etc., are the foundations for the environmental urban planning and design.

Urban innovation and entrepreneurship network systems in the local ecosystem play a crucial role to promote and adapt to new situations (Granovetter, 1973). A green innovation ecosystem is form with urban planning and development programs, living labs and future internet experimental facilities for users and citizens, policy-makers, researchers, scientists, ICT business companies, etc. Urban cyberspace is crucial in technological innovation in city management of digital cities to deliver benefits to people in green public spaces and developing civic networks in areas of economic regeneration and community building.

Urban green innovation may contribute significantly to urban sustainable development providing an opportunity for research to define a new direction for green environments (Cronon, 1991; Goudie, 1994; Forman, 1995).

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