UPDATE 6-feb: Initially I calculated there could not be more than 50,000 protesters at a given time. However it could be feasible with the adjacent areas that there were up to 200,000. A friend told me about this better picture, than the one I used in the original post below See picture 44.
UPDATE 15-feb: Please read the comments. Special attention to Adham, GeoCom and NooNoo.

—-

An interruption from my normal posts in this blog, to show how a little geographical concepts can help.

Social network software and media are discussing the amount of people who met today for the 1 Million people protest in Cairo, Egypt. Al Jazeera reports that there is “More than a million gather in Cairo’s Tahrir Square”. New York Times says “Hundreds of thousands of people in Tahrir Square on Tuesday demanded the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak”. Haaretz mentions “At least one million in Egypt take to the streets to call for Mubarak’s ouster”. Fox News says “An estimated 250,000 Egyptians mass in the heart of Cairo”. Le Monde talks about 200,000. All the media I quickly checked agree that there are hundreds of thousands.

Indeed, we can see the massive amount of people in the square, surrounded by military checkpoints.

Well, I have to be a bubble buster or arrogant. But I can not believe there are in Tahrir Square more than 50,000. I’m an economic geographer, more economist than geographer, so I know some basic geographic tools. Ok, ok, Google Planimeter can be hardly classified as a geographic information science… So the calculation it’s a rough estimate (with all the caveats of google maps and planimeter).

That is an area of 31,890 square meters.

If we generously put 1 person for each square meter, then we would have 32,000 people. 2 people per square meter would be extremely dense and not likely according to the pictures. Still that would be 65,000.

Perhaps what Japan Today reported “More than 10,000 people beat drums, played music and chanted slogans in Tahrir Square”, maybe closer than the Western and Middle Eastern media. (I never though one could put all of them together).

Wow! right now a Top Tweet in Twitter (this means massively repeated) is “army has estimated number of protesters at entrance of tahrir at 2 million #jan25“.

If the media buys it, we would have this amount of people, and the history books will say it too. If you read this post, you could tell your grandchildren, that maybe there were not so many people.

Image from Twitter. Who said social media would bring us transparent numbers?

But before posting this. 2 postscripts:

p.s. My heart is with the people of Egypt. I mourn the 300 people killed these last days (according to the UN) and the thousands imprisoned in harsh conditions. I hope that there are free elections in the near future and transparency emerges. In Spain we had to wait 40 years for dictator Franco to die. Many believed another Civil War could erupt back then in 1975, but there was a peaceful transition.

p.s.2 I would believe, though, there could have been 1 million, and even 2 million people protesting all around Egypt today. But not in the Tahrir Square.

p.s. (30 Nov 2011). In Spain democracy came after Franco died, because of 3 things, not necessarily in order. a) international support, b) intelligent nationalistic and communists to agree to accept mainstream democracy (including accepting the King appointed by Franco), c) brave militaries to accept mainstream democracy.

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Yesterday there was an article about Vallejo in the Financial Times. It says:

For an image of the future that is guaranteed to chill US civic leaders and bondholders alike, there is no better place to look than among the potholed streets and boarded-up houses that litter the Californian city of Vallejo.

It made me feel good that last year I went to the city to make a case study about it. I stated at Univ. of California, Berkeley during the whole Spring semester 2010. A few days ago I finished writing a paper called “VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA. FROM THE FRINGES OF THE CITY, A CASE FOR THE ‘CITY REGION SYSTEM OF SURVIVAL’. I wrote it to present it at the DIME-DRUID ACADEMY Winter Conference 2011, this week.

This paper is very heterodox, and is a paper on progress. The main purpose of it was to make a summary of theories I learned about Local Economic Development at the Berkeley libraries. I then tried to connect the case of this city (or district) of the San Francisco Bay Area, and its significance to entrepreneurship and innovation policy. Innovation from a broad sense, for the ones that now what I’m talking about.

I got much help from the locals of Vallejo, and one of them, the editor of the popular Vallejo Independent Bulletin, asked me to send him a copy of the article when I would finished it. Keeping my word I sent it to him, and he has published it online.

My article at the Vallejo Independent Bulletin

I am grateful he did it, because I got a few comments from the citizens. This made me realize that my ideas are still quite confusing. So I wrote a comment. It seems it has an anti-spam feature, I told the editor. For now I’ll put it here.

Since I read the comments of Ab and SomeoneElse on my paper about Vallejo and the Bay Area, I have been thinking a lot.

I am grateful for the comments. In particular, because I have realized that I have not made a good job to express my ideas. This is hard, as English is not my native language. But also because of the internal fight I have had. I am a PhD student specializing in local economic development, but it is the case of Vallejo that has made me changed many of my preconceptions. Now I would like to comment on the comments.

Ab says: -“the last line is spont on”- and then quotes me: -“Vallejo … end up like many cities in third world countries, where a few (police and firefighters?) live in affluence while the vast majority of citizens live and die in misery”- [police and firefighters added by Ab].

There are two things. First it should be understood that even though Vallejo has been a city, since the 19th century, I refer in the paper as a “district” of the city-region of the Bay Area. I know this may sound weird for any local (of the Bay Area), but coming from abroad I can clearly see that the Bay Area is a large metropolitan area, highly connected in its economic geography.

The second thing is that I don’t necessarily say that police and firefighters are the few, or the elite of Vallejo, nor of course the elite of the city-region. True, they are an interest group, and as I referenced in the paper they have a well known “symbiotic relationship” with the political power of the city. But going back to my first point, one has to look beyond the city limits of Vallejo. Making $150,000 as a safety employee it’s certainly high, but what about the bankers and real estate leaders who make 10 times or more, in the different districts of the Bay Area?. This is probably a stupid comparison, but what about the profits of a company of the city region, like Apple making 100,000 times more. But still, what is their responsibility towards their neighbors?

“Someone Else” points out we need to think outside the box. I’ll try to do it. There is so much anger against the public safety employees, and probably with a reason. But this is not going to solve the problem of Vallejo. Thinking outside the box… What about a Bay Area police? After all, the criminals operate in all the Bay Area, not only in one particular city. I am NOT an expert in safety, but I see that the New York City Police Department, covers 8 million people, more than the 7 million of the Bay Area. The Bay Area has already the BART police, that would fall inside the Bay Area Police. The 9 counties police departments (sheriffs), a heritage from a bygone era could also be reduced. I repeat, I have no idea about this field. But as an economist I would think that cities (and their tax payers) would avoid the “competition” among them. And that is the idea: work more towards collaboration, than competition.

Of course, safety should not be the only thing. In fact should be the least. The most important things would be towards, education. I had the chance to be in UC Berkeley, one of the most amazing universities in the world. Also visited friends in Stanford. Great places. I know all these ideas have been said many times before, even from the former Governor (I still can’t believe people voted for an European actor). But there should be more mechanisms to get more funding for the rest of more ordinary higher education. However, what I think is of really concern, is the high inequality in the school districts across the Bay Area. In Europe we have many problems, don’t get me wrong! but with the exception of a few countries (like UK), every child has the same amount of money allocated for education, regardless in which neighborhood was born. There is an urgent need for a more cohesive education across the Bay Area.

More cohesiveness should be as well for access to justice, healthcare, transportation, innovation and entrepreneurship policy, etc in the Bay Area. That’s what I am trying to say in the paper. Because the different parts of the city region are so interdependent.

The same goes to having X or Y Mayor. Sure, many question if Davis should be the Mayor. But I think it does not matter if X or Y, or Z would be Mayors. Neither if Vallejo hires the best consultants, or the best City Manager. My hypothesis is that it does not matter who is in the leadership of Vallejo. The city will not survive.

Unless, they realize that: 1) Vallejo is dependent of the city-region. (This does not mean surrender). 2) There is need of active coordination, at local (Vallejo) and city-region level. That is stop fighting at local and inter-local level, and start collaborating.

If not, and now I clarify, the city region of San Francisco, will become more and more as third world country, “where a few live in affluence while the vast majority of citizens live and die in misery.”. Many in the elite, as the mentioned Andy Grove in the paper, have noticed it.

I was going over the intro of Schumpeter’s “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy”, and I got into the part where he reviews the Manifesto, when it talks about the accomplishments of the bourgeoisie (it’s in a footnote). Then he points out the part where Marx and Engels say that the rural people live in idiocy, based on the following text:

“The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life.“ (Marx and Engels, 1848 – bold added)

I think I remember, when I read it time ago in Spanish, and the meaning is kind of lost I would say, but I don’t think I paid too much attention at it, however this time got me thinking. Where they saying that people living in small towns are stupid?? I mean it’s a small thing, but almost any sentence from Marx one has to think about it a few times.

So I wrote a friend I met at Berkeley, and asked him about it. He gave such a good answer that I’m just going to dedicate it a post for it. I asked him for permission to upload part of his email.

He answered:

“(…) About the manifesto, it’s not that he thought rural people were stupid (although I think he had an urban bias) but rather that capitalism, through urbanization and industrialization processes developed humanity’s social nature to its greatest expression in history.  He was arguing that the specifically capitalist mode of production and the urban systems it produced brought people together and compelled them to interact in ways not possible in rural regions.  The type of interaction necessary in cities under capitalism allowed for the potential for human nature to develop, with progressive intellectual and cultural production, along with the development of science and technology, reaching heights not possible under feudal relations of agricultural production.  It’s not that rural people were inherently stupid, but rather that the comparatively atomistic lives they led, with arduous and extended labor taking place in relative isolation from a large and developed civil society, and under relations of indirect exploitation of the landlords, prevented them from engaging with a broader social world.  They objectively could not pursue their intellectual and social development to the same extent (with Marx here operating under the assumption that knowledge and the intellect are socially produced and thus require social cooperation and conflict to develop).

It goes without saying that he thought the particular organizational relations under which capitalism initiated this flowering of social development needed revolutionary change.  He thought of capitalism as a progressive force that allowed intellectual and scientific change to occur through direct social contact and thus a force shattering the isolating restrictions of rural life, one that objectively socialized world production and brought everything under a totalizing mode of production.  Unfortunately, this mode of production achieved this socialization through the privatization of ownership of the means of production and as such created the potential for full development only for those who became free from the shackles of direct labor, the capitalists themselves.  Even here, however, this conflict between capital and labor internalized the potential for revolutionary self emancipation of the working class through bringing workers together under the conditions of the factory system, which he saw as capitalism’s unique technological expression.  The concentration of workers allowed for the first time a widespread recognition of the conditions of exploitation of the underclass by the underclass itself and created the potential for revolution.

Whether he was right about the isolating effects of rural life under feudalism or the revolutionary effects of urban concentration under capitalism, it’s not really about ‘stupid’ rural people, but of the objective social conditions within which rural labor has to exist.

Hope this made sense and/or helps. (…)”

 

I’m really grateful for my friends.

I was going over Schumpeter’s “Capitalism, socialism, and democracy”, and I got into the part where he reviews the Manifesto, when it talks about the accomplishments of the bourgeoisie (it’s in a footnote). Then he points out the part where Marx and Engels say that the rural people live in idiocy.

 

“The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life.“

 

I think I remember, when I read it time ago, and I took it as it was in an quasi-ironic way, and did not pay too much attention at it, however this time got my thinking. What were they really trying to say? I mean it’s a small thing, but almost any sentence from Marx one has to think about it a few times.

 

So I wrote a friend I met at Berkeley, and asked him about it. He gave such a good answer that I’m just going to dedicate it a post for it.

 

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=6eM6YrMj46sC&dq=schumpeter+capitalism+socialism+democracy&q=idiocy#v=snippet&q=idiocy&f=false

 

 

He answered:

About the manifesto, it’s not that he thought rural people were stupid (although I think he had an urban bias) but rather that capitalism, through urbanization and industrialization processes developed humanity’s social nature to its greatest expression in history.  He was arguing that the specifically capitalist mode of production and the urban systems it produced brought people together and compelled them to interact in ways not possible in rural regions.  The type of interaction necessary in cities under capitalism allowed for the potential for human nature to develop, with progressive intellectual and cultural production, along with the development of science and technology, reaching heights not possible under feudal relations of agricultural production.  It’s not that rural people were inherently stupid, but rather that the comparatively atomistic lives they led, with arduous and extended labor taking place in relative isolation from a large and developed civil society, and under relations of indirect exploitation of the landlords, prevented them from engaging with a broader social world.  They objectively could not pursue their intellectual and social development to the same extent (with Marx here operating under the assumption that knowledge and the intellect are socially produced and thus require social cooperation and conflict to develop).

 

It goes without saying that he thought the particular organizational relations under which capitalism initiated this flowering of social development needed revolutionary change.  He thought of capitalism as a progressive force that allowed intellectual and scientific change to occur through direct social contact and thus a force shattering the isolating restrictions of rural life, one that objectively socialized world production and brought everything under a totalizing mode of production.  Unfortunately, this mode of production achieved this socialization through the privatization of ownership of the means of production and as such created the potential for full development only for those who became free from the shackles of direct labor, the capitalists themselves.  Even here, however, this conflict between capital and labor internalized the potential for revolutionary self emancipation of the working class through bringing workers together under the conditions of the factory system, which he saw as capitalism’s unique technological expression.  The concentration of workers allowed for the first time a widespread recognition of the conditions of exploitation of the underclass by the underclass itself and created the potential for revolution.

 

Whether he was right about the isolating effects of rural life under feudalism or the revolutionary effects of urban concentration under capitalism, it’s not really about ‘stupid’ rural people, but of the objective social conditions within which rural labor has to exist.

 

Hope this made sense and/or helps.

 

 

 

 

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=VOfrAAAAMAAJ&dq=schumpeter+capitalism+socialism+democracy&q=idiocy#search_anchor

The other day I got this through my friend Jan, who just recently finished his PhD. This is a video animation of a presentation of Steven Johnson, based on his new book Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation.

He explains the idea of how meeting places where such a great place for innovation, back in the day (and today), and all the time it took to develop ideas. For sure, there were people who talk more, and people who would listen more. But all good benefited. You could go to the table that shares your interests, once in a while. I think that is the same principle in twitter.

I have to admit that my twitter log, (which once in a while I copy in a doc for easier findings), help me a lot to get ideas to include in papers. Therefore I’m very grateful to this tool. It comes a lot of inspiration, and try to keep the people I follow to a minimum, to restrict it for my work. (I don’t know how people can follow more than 150 people, no offense, but there is an optimization point.) Anyways, the thing is that twitter can help to exchange ideas, unfortunately it does not leave too much room for discussion.

I love these animations. Another good one is David Harvey’s (if you don’t know him, is the most quoted geographer), “The Crisis of Capitalism”.

Along other projects, I have been working on a paper (so far) titled: “Geography and the Entrepreneurial Profile
– A Study of Rural and Urban Populations in Denmark”. It is coauthored with Kristian Nielsen, a great economist from the Business Department. He’s like me, a PhD candidate, but he has many more skills, including the crucial econometric and statistical analysis. We have done a paper based on a survey conducted to more than 2000 people, of which 3/4 were successful entrepreneurs and the other 1/4 were employees.

Today there is a huge debate about the importance of living in the city vs. living in the country and its influence in entrepreneurship. We wanted to see if they had any difference in their networks, identity and start-up motivation. More or less the question we rise is: Where do you have more differences: between the urban and rural population, or the entrepreneurs and employees (regardless of geography)?. We have asked this in two conferences we have presented the paper the DRUID and the AAG, and answers are split. What do you think?

At the end of the paper, we wrote a fictional story, but based on true research! to summarize our findings. Here I share with you the story, which probably will not be in the paper for space and copyright reasons. The paper? Soon in your best journal :) If you want to give us some feedback (before we send it to the journal!) we could send it to you, I guess.

The Story

To illustrate some of our main findings regarding entrepreneurs we will present a simple example. – Imagine you have two friends, Ruben and Urban. Ruben is from a rural area, and Urban is from a big city. You talk with each one of them once in a while. You are an equally important friend for each one of them, since they have around the same number of friends. Ruben, earned a three-year technical degree and Urban got a university degree. When you hang out with Urban and his friends you talk about ideas for businesses. He is a very creative guy. – Some time passes – Urban is about to get married, and Ruben, although slightly younger, already has. Interestingly, they both started a business in the service sector. Urban proposed that you and another friend join him in his business adventure. You did not join. Urban borrowed some money from family and friends. – A few more years pass, and both of your friends have become successful entrepreneurs – By reading the results of this paper, you know that you are equally as likely to receive a call from either of them to have a drink. But you are more likely to have Urban ask you for help, with for instance, a computer problem. If you do not help him, you should not worry a lot; he’s the type of person who will soon call an IT professional or another friend. It’s not that Ruben won’t have a problem with the computer, but he would not bother you about it. Ruben would probably ended up spending a few days fixing it himself.

This was a didactic example based on some of our results, overemphasizing the main differences. The differences between age, marriage, and education of these characters can probably be explained by socio-economic and cultural values for each region. Whether this is true for the difference in personal traits and work values could be important to further investigate. Also, the reason for the different use of networks is unclear, however, this behavior is probably related to geographical proximity and/or agglomeration issues. It seems that, while much has changed over the last centuries, in today’s economy the rural entrepreneurs still share a certain resemblance to the rural tradition of surviving without division of labour. This behavior was pointed out in the introduction, with the examples by Adam Smith and the ancient Greeks.

Another main finding of our research is that entrepreneurs are similar, regardless of geography, when compared to wage earners. Going back to the fictional case of the story of our two friends; – The most interesting thing happens the day you introduce Ruben and Urban. They start talking about their businesses, and get along very well. They talked about their employees, and complain about the routine problems of their providers, customers and government bureaucrats. However, they both agree on how much they like having the freedom of being their own boss. They exchange cards and comment on how many things they have in common. – And they are right; these guys have always been one of a kind.

L.C. Freire-Gibb and K. Nielsen, forthcoming

This is the first time that I write in Danish for this blog. But I have some parts that were going to be for a book that most probably I will not use.  This is a book on the Experience Economy in Denmark, it will be published this year in Danish. I’m grateful to Birthe Ømark to assist me with the translation. I hope that one or two Danes enjoy reading this.

Indledning
Byen Frederikshavn kan kort karakteriseres på følgende måde: Den er lille (færre end 25.000 indbyggere). Den ligger i et udkantsområde. Det er Danmarks nordligst beliggende kommune. Industrien er traditionel med skibsværfterne, som var de største arbejdspladser i byen i det 20. århundrede.

Lysfestivalen skal ses som et projekt, der er knyttet til begrebet oplevelsesøkonomi. Ikke kun fordi festivalen stræber efter at lave sjove og mindeværdige oplevelser for såvel byens indbyggere som for besøgende, men også fordi projektet er organiseret af folk, der iøvrigt også er dybt involveret i oplevelsesøkonomien. Der tænkes her især på flere lysproducenter, der er involveret i eksperimentel arkitektur, show-business firmaer samt folk, der underviser i oplevelsesbelysning.

Lysfestivalen kan siges at have dybe historiske rødder, idet mennesker i Norden traditionelt har et særligt forhold til lys. Således er mange festivaler og aktiviteter i de nordiske lande dedikeret til lys i dag. I Danmark kan man nævne ”Lysende Vejle”, ”Lys over Lolland” og ”Lyslydprojektet i Høje Tåstrup”. I en brandingsammenhæng anvendes begrebet Lysets Land om den nordlige del af Nordjylland, som Frederikshavn også tilhører. Dette kapitel beskriver, hvordan Lysfestivalen i Frederikshavn har udviklet sig siden 2004 fra at være en kulturfestival til at være et projekt, der er målrettet iværksætterdynamikken i en sektor i den lokale økonomi, som er baseret på belysningsindustrien. Projektet vil blive diskuteret ud fra et lokaludviklingsperspektiv med særligt fokus på den lokale iværksætterdynamik og den politik, som sigter mod at støtte iværksætteri.

(…)

For ti år siden skabte Pine og Gilmore begrebet ”oplevelsesøkonomi”. Forfatterne hævder, at verdensøkonomien har udviklet sig fra en agrarøkonomi over en industriel økonomi til en serviceøkonomi for endelig at gå over i oplevelsesøkonomien. Pine og Gilmore’s ide er, at produkter og derefter services førhen var vigtigst for befolkningen og økonomien, mens oplevelser nu er blevet langt vigtigere. De foreslår i bogen, at erhvervslivet skal fokusere på at tilbyde oplevelser, fordi denne strategi ”åbner muligheder for ekstraordinær økonomisk ekspansion” (Pine II & Gilmore, 1999). De var imidlertid ikke de første, der fremførte tanken om at tilbyde oplevelser. Tidligere har Alvin Toffler således beskrevet, hvordan ”oplevelsesindustrier” vil blive særdeles vigtige i ”fremtiden” (Toffler, 1970). I dagens Danmark er der forskellige opfattelser af, hvilke brancher der er mest knyttede til oplevelsesøkonomi. Nogle kilder peger på ca. 16 brancher, såsom interaktive medier, events, sport, attraktioner, osv. (Nielsén, 2005).

Pine og Gilmore har aldrig indsnævret Oplevelsesøkonomien til specifikke industrier. De dristede sig endda til at kommentere på feltet planlægning af oplevelser for borgerne. Det følgende eksempel er meget relevant for dette kapitel.

Begrebet oplevelsesøkonomi og lokal økonomisk udvikling gennem iværksætteri
Desuden ”iværksætterforetagender er ikke det samme som små virksomheder” (Hart, 2003), og iværksætteri er hverken synonymt med radikal innovation eller noget helt nyt. Danmark betragtes f.eks. som et innovativt land og samfund (Hansen, 1991) og (Gregersen et al., 2009), men alligevel er innovation mest relateret til trinvis innovation. Langt størstedelen (94 %) af de firmaer, der driver forretning i Danmark, tilbyder produkter og ydelser som er kopieret direkte, eller med små ændringer fra andre (Jensen et al., 2007).

(…)

På tværs af forskellige erhverv i den private sektor bruger mange iværksættere ideer, der er relateret til oplevelsesøkonomi. Også intraprenører i offentlige organer har fået en forståelse for, at borgerne kræver oplevelser og ikke kun basal service. Det betyder, at specielt i Danmarks tilfælde, hvor så mange projekter bliver iværksat af intraprenører, kunne man forvente et samarbejde mellem intraprenører fra den offentlige og private sektor for at skabe flere muligheder for lokal udvikling. Kapitlet illustrerer netop, hvor vigtigt dette samarbejde er blevet i Frederikshavn.

Benneworth (2004) skriver “iværksætteri i udkantsområder er kompliceret, tilfældigt og usikkert” og peger på, at mere forskning i iværksætteri er nødvendig for at forstå lokal økonomisk udvikling i udkantsområder. I den forbindelse skal stedet og dets historie tages  i betragtning. Det følgende afsnit betragter den kontekst, i hvilken den lokale iværksætterdynamik fungerer i forskellige situationer.

’Lock-in’ og måder at undslippe fastlåsheden på

Et berømt eksempel på ’lock-in’ på det teknologiske område er det, der handler om et tastatur. For tiden bruger vi et computertastatur, som har de første bogstaver i det øverste hjørne i rækkefølgen QWERTY. Dette design blev patenteret i USA i 1874. Baggrunden for dette layout var at undgå at de mest brugte bogstaver skulle støde sammen i skrivemaskinen. I dag, hvor vi bruger computere, kunne vi bruge andre tastaturer for at skrive hurtigere, f.eks. Dvorak tastaturer (Dansk Dvorak), men langt de fleste mennesker har lært at skrive i det gamle system, og alle tastaturer laves på den gamle manér. Derfor har vi en historisk betinget ’lock-in’ i QWERTY (David, 1985). Dette paradoks kan også forekomme i den økonomiske udvikling i byer og regioner.

(…)

Der er to problemer med studierne af innovation og læring. For det første, at mange af studierne ”beror på officielle data og derfor ofte mangler den nødvendige specificering og fokus for at kunne vurdere lokale læringsprocesser” (MacKinnon et al., 2002). For det andet, er det studier, der støtter læringsideerne ”baseret på empirisk evidens fra storbyer og bymæssige bebyggelser” (Fløysand & Jakobsen, 2008). Problemet er, at det ikke er oplagt, at storbyers erfaringer kan overføres til mindre byer, som er anderledes i såvel størrelse som råderum. Det er blevet vist, at læringsnetværk har eksisteret i de berømte italienske industrielle distrikter og allerede i 1970’erne i den private sektor i Norge og Danmark i form af erfaringsnetværk eller læringsfællesskaber (Rosenfeld, 2001).

(…)

Alt i alt er der forskellige strategier som en by som Frederikshavn kan vælge for at undgå lock-in. Talrige projekter er da også blevet gennemført, nogle af dem fortrinsvis rettet mod oplevelsesøkonomien, som f.eks. Lysfestivalen. Festivalens hovedstrategi er at forbedre udviklingen for det lokale erhvervsliv eller iværksætterdynamikken gennem lokale initiativer. For at kunne gøre det, og under hensyntagen til Frederikshavns kendetegn, synes ideen om midlertidig geografisk nærhed for at stimulere læringen blandt byens aktører at være passende. Det er derfor relevant at finde ud af, hvordan denne nærhed er organiseret, hvem der er involveret, hvor lang tid de samarbejder og hvad resultatet bliver.

(…)

Konklusioner
I alle vestlige lande er der mange byer, som befinder sig i en fastlåst situation (lock-in). Akademikere fra forskellige felter har forsøgt at dokumentere og foreslå måder til at slippe ud af denne fastlåshed eller lock-in situation. Desværre findes der ikke megen litteratur, der omfatter provinsbyer. Dette kapitel har fremlagt vidnesbyrd fra en lille by i et dansk udkantsområde.

Det påstås i dette kapitel, at byen har skabt en Lysfestival ved at benytte sig af oplevelsesøkonomien, specifikt i belysningssektoren. Projektet er ikke blot en festival, men har adskillige bestanddele, som har fremmet lokal læring, og i et bredere perspektiv kan det højne den lokale iværksætterkultur og økonomiske udvikling.

Referencer

  • Benneworth, P. 2004, “In what sense ‘regional development?’: entrepreneurship, underdevelopment and strong tradition in the periphery”, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 439-458.
  • David, P.A. 1985, “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY”, The American Economic Review, pp. 332-337.
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Yesterday I was watching TV and they had a special on music of the 60’s. There were some groups, but then they showed this song from Petula Clark, according to the documentary she was part of the British invasion. The song was an international hit – #1 in the US – early in 1965. I have never put in this blog a video, and although this one is quite cheesy I think is interesting. It also helps me imagine the kind of downtown that the citizens of Vallejo, CA had in their mind when they decided to rebuild the Downtown in 1959 and early 60’s.

Bellow I paste the lyrics. The reason why I’m putting this is because is a relic of the American urban culture. With the exception of a few cities, nobody goes out anymore to Downtown. In Europe it’s not the same as in the past, but the Downtown feeling has survived better because of lesser use of the car. Anyways, in Europe and USA, in the late 1960’s the big urban sprawl was on its way, and at that time still people went out to the center of the city. Some say that there is a revival of the downtown in the U.S., let’s see what happens.

Downtown

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go – downtown
When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know – downtown
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go downtown, things’ll be great when you’re
Downtown – no finer place, for sure
Downtown – everything’s waiting for you

Don’t hang around and let your problems surround you
There are movie shows – downtown
Maybe you know some little places to go to
Where they never close – downtown
Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova
You’ll be dancing with him too before the night is over
Happy again

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go downtown, where all the lights are bright
Downtown – waiting for you tonight
Downtown – you’re gonna be all right now

[Instrumental break]

And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
Guide them along

So maybe I’ll see you there
We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares
So go downtown, things’ll be great when you’re
Downtown – don’t wait a minute for more
Downtown – everything’s waiting for you

Downtown, downtown, downtown, downtown …