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by Rob Greenwood

Research Interests



Social Dynamics of Economic Performance: Innovation and Creativity in the St. John’s City-Region and in Smaller Urban Regions in Newfoundland and Labrador

Lead Researcher and Department
Dr. Rob Greenwood, Harris Centre, Memorial University

Collaborators and Students
Ann-Marie Vaughan, Distance Education and Learning Technologies; Dr. Josh Lepawsky, Department of Geography, Dr. Reeta Tremblay, Department of Political Science; Crystal Phan, Graduate Student, Department of Geography, Memorial University; Rural Secretariat, Government of NL

Funding Resources

Understanding the social dynamics of a particular place and their effect on economic growth and expansion is the first step in creating policies that will optimize economic development. This study will examine the link between innovation and enterprise, why creative and innovative thinkers are attracted to certain city-regions and how Newfoundland and Labrador cities stack up against other Canadian cities.

The project is based on the theory that cities are the key source of economic vitality and innovation by looking at three dimensions of social dynamics and their relationship to the economic drive of cities. They are: the social nature of the innovation process, which examines knowledge circulation and linkages; the social foundations of talent attraction and retention, where highly educated and creative workers are attracted to and stay in areas that offer outstanding employment opportunities, a high quality of life, cultural activity, and social diversity; and the degree of community inclusiveness and civic engagement, documenting the impact that new forms of socially inclusive governance has had on the nature of development strategies and economies of these cities.

The project hopes to develop insights into the reasons that innovation and creativity are concentrated in certain locations, and to inform policy makers about the local, provincial and national initiatives that are most effective in shaping a city-region’s economic potential. As well, the research will provide information for economic development policy around initiatives that enhance the circulation of knowledge, that define effective new governance methods, and that shape urban areas. It is part of a national study on how cities use collaboration, creativity and good governance to succeed economically

2007 -

City regions, Economic innovation, Economic development, Community development, Governance

Corner Brook
Labrador City
St. John's
Corner Brook - Rocky Harbour
Clarenville - Bonavista
Avalon Peninsula
Zone 2 - Hyron
Zone 8 - Humber
Zone 15 - Discovery
Zone 19 - Northeast Avalon

Industry Sectors
Social science research and development (Professional, scientific and technical services — Scientific research and development services — Research and development in the social sciences and humanities)
Local, municipal and regional public administration (Public administration)

Thematic Categories
Community Development
Social Conditions (Community Development)
Rural Development

Geography, Faculty of Arts (STJ)
Political Science, Faculty of Arts (STJ)
Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support (DELTS) (STJ)
Harris Centre (STJ)
Office of V.P. (Academic) (STJ)