Social Innovation as a New Social Policy Tool for Regional Government Institutions in Smart Territories

Social Innovation as a New Social Policy Tool for Regional Government Institutions in Smart Territories

Muradiye Ates
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2097-0.ch004
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By aiming at improving social welfare and well-being, social policies, social innovation, and smart territories are closely related to each other. Local authorities are in direct contact with citizens and regional needs, which makes them an important actor in overcoming challenges ranging from housing, spare-time activities to education to improving democratic standards. There are many successful examples of social innovations, including, participatory budgeting, and Open Government Vienna, which are supported by local governments that can contribute to the formation of smart cities and territories. By elaborating related examples from various perspectives, this chapter highlights the relation between social policy, social innovation, and smart cities.
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The developments and changes in social life have significant impacts on evolving social needs and challenges. Thus, social problems are constantly changing and becoming more complex. In the eighteenth century, not only economic life but also social and political structures were significantly affected by the industrial revolution. The social problems have become more evident with serious class divisions and increasing polarizations, which gave birth to new research fields. As a result, the notion of social policy has come to light, and the concept of welfare state emerged (Ateş, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Innovation (SI): SI is new ideas that meet social needs create social relationships and form new collaborations which can be products, services or models addressing unmet needs more effectively (by European Commission)

Digital Welfare: Digital welfare means the digitalization of public policies and services, making them efficient and effective that promotes citizens' prosperity.

Smart City: A smart city is a city that provides a high quality of life with the effective use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) applied to critical infrastructure components and services sustainably.

Smart Territories: The idea of the smart territory makes the smart city concept from the urban scale to the regional scale and deploying these policies in an integrated and holistic manner.

Digital Social Innovation (DSI): DSI is a social and collaborative innovation in which innovators, users, and communities collaborate using digital technologies to tackle social challenges and change people's lives.

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