Seminar: Professor James Simmie, "Resilience and adaptation in city systems"

Past Event

01 December 2010, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Said Business School
Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HP

Speaker: Professor James Simmie, Department of Planning, Oxford Brookes University
Commentator: Dr Javier Lezaun, James Martin Lecturer in Science and Technology Governance

In this lecture, James Simmie develops one of the evolutionary economics approaches to understanding adaptation and change in the economic trajectories of urban economies. Neo-classical equilibrist versions of resilience and adaptation are rejected in favour of an evolutionary perspective. He argues in particular for an explanation based on why and how local economies adapt through time both to continual mutations and to periodic gales of creative destruction.

Simmie focuses on the extent to which the “panarchy” conceptual framework can suggest testable hypotheses concerning urban and regional resilience. He explores some of these by examining the long-term economic development of two illustrative city-regional economies and one regional economy. These are Cambridge, Swansea and the West Midlands. The findings suggest that adaptive capacity and resilience are built up over years and decades. They are dependent on the generation of endogenous new knowledge, the co-evolution of facilitating institutions and cultures and the conscious decisions of firms and public authorities.

About the speaker:
James Simmie is Professor of Innovation Studies at Oxford Brookes University. His work is focused on the relationships between innovation, productivity and the competitiveness of urban regions. This has been developed within the context of evolutionary economic theory and economic geography. He received his PhD from University College London where he went on to become Reader in Urban Sociology. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.