- Innovation and creativity strategies in Helsinki Metropolitan Area reinvention of regional governance   click here to open paper content233 kb
by    Karvinen, Marko | marko.karvinen@hel.fi   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper describes the development of innovation and creativity strategies in Helsinki Metropolitan Area concentrating on the strategy formulation and on the implementation. Economic, cultural and political preconditions for the change from traditional government methods to networking based governance methods are analysed. Ideas of trust and network capital are discussed in the context of regional development.

In mid 90s Finland joined to the EU and Helsinki implemented strategies strongly based in internationalisation, innovation and creativity. Parallel to this hierarchical and bureaucratic ways of public administration have been replaced by networking and modes of governance. The preconditions for the change were: changes in the operating environment, internationalisation, changes in legislation and use of ICT-tools.

The development of creative policies has been done in close cooperation with cities, cultural institutions and private sector. The flagship projects are the Cultural Capital of Europe project and Center of Excellence activities. In increasing the creativity in the area of research City of Helsinki has worked in close cooperation with universities. Also an urban policy programme was organised for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Lately the innovation strategy for the Helsinki region has been approved.

Parallel to these changes the key politicians in the region organised The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Advisory Board. This board consists of the chairs of city boards and councils of the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen. The board acts as an arena for developing trust and network capital among decision makers.

Main economic and cultural preconditions for innovation and creativity strategies are investments to education and culture. Both nationally and locally private and public investments to research and development are also needed.

Innovation and creativity are possible only in the atmosphere of trust. Social and network capital have to be developed in an urban regional context. Low hierarchies with effective use of ICT builds up the creative city.
Governance, regional development, network capital, trust
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